IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — Toxic sewage spills from Mexico have plagued cities like Imperial Beach for years, but a new legal settlement could help stop the problem. 

Several cities and agencies sued the federal government and its agency, the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission, over these sewage spills. The mayor of Imperial Beach, Serge Dedina, says they won.

The IBWC has signed a settlement that includes ensuring the construction of a second berm in Mexico, joint inspections with both countries and the cleaning of canyon collectors to help mitigate the sewage flows.

“Now we have have one piece, so we can start moving forward on actually fixing (the problem) — spending the $300 million dollars that was allocated, thanks to our congressional delegation, and then building that infrastructure that’s actually going to address the problem,” Dedina told FOX 5. “But thanks to this legal effort … the International Boundary and Water Commission has already started taking action.”

An IBWC spokesperson said the agency is prepared to move forward.

“We gotta do things in baby steps, and we’re committed to doing that first, but the goal is reduced or eliminated transboundary flows,” said Public Affairs Officer Lori Kuczmanski.

Neighbors who spoke to FOX 5 Wednesday said picturesque days in Imperial Beach are too often tainted by toxic sewage.

“We see more and more people having difficulty with it, with the signage up all the time,” said Michael Hays. “I think property values would certainly be increasing even more if this was a problem that would be handled.”

Residents said any action on the issue is a step in the right direction.

“Anything that’s a progress toward change is exciting to hear finally, because I know it’s been an issue for quite some time. So it needs a remedy,” Hays said. “I hope that sees change.”

The IBWC says it is also working to expand its South Bay wastewater treatment plant to help reduce the sewage flows.