South County shoreline reopens after sewage flows

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — County officials Friday re-opened parts of the shoreline near Imperial Beach that had been closed due to sewage-contaminated runoff.

Beaches from the U.S.-Mexico border to the northern boundary of the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge were closed on Feb. 11, after testing showed unsafe water quality.

The unhealthy water quality came after a Feb. 9 partial power failure at a treatment facility in Tijuana that allowed an estimated 560,000 gallons of water to flow through the Tijuana River across the border unhindered, according to the International Boundary and Water Commission. Additional sewage flows occurred on that day, as well as Feb. 15 and Tuesday, the commission said.

Officials sample the water quality in the area weekly, according to the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health, and sewage from the Tijuana River frequently results in beach closures during the winter rainy season.