IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — Over the last few weeks, more than eight million gallons of raw sewage has ended up in the Tijuana River Valley — some of which has already found its way to the ocean and prompted beach closures in Imperial Beach.
On Tuesday alone, an estimated one million gallons flowed into the valley from Tijuana. As the week wears on and with currents flowing south to north, more beach closures are expected from the border all they way to Silver Strand State Beach.
“And this is the Fourth of July week. This is when we have the most visitors on our beaches, seeing our fireworks. And we have a south to north current. A south swell means beach closures again,” said Imperial Beach Council Member Paloma Aguirre.
The current beach closures located south of Imperial Beach Boulevard have already started to disappoint visitors like Soledad Figueroa.
“To learn these beaches are being contaminated and it’s going to prevent me from bringing my nephews here to have fun, it’s sad,” Figueroa said.
The County of San Diego monitors and samples the water three times a week. Aguirre expects more beach closure signs to go up in the near future.
“It’s the middle of the summer, kids are out of school. They want free recreational opportunities. For a lot of them it’s the beach and they can’t come to the beach because it’s in danger of being closed if it isn’t closed already,” Aguirre said.