More beach closures issued from Tijuana River sewage

Beach closures triggered by contaminated stormwater runoff from the Tijuana River were extended Friday to include all of Imperial Beach’s coastline.

The closures were first issued Tuesday for a stretch of Imperial Beach from the U.S.-Mexico border to Seacoast Drive. Now all beaches south of Carnation Avenue — along the Imperial Beach Pier, Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park — are closed.

Signs warning beachgoers of “sewage-contaminated” water will be posted until bacterial levels return to normal, officials with the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health said Tuesday.

Polluted water in the Tijuana River, often dumped into the Pacific Ocean, is a frequent problem during the rainy season, regularly keeping beaches off-limits to swimmers in South County.

The pollution adds to spills from aging pipes and potentially hazardous discharges from the deteriorating San Antonio de Los Buenos sewage treatment plant in Punta Bandera, located about six miles south of the border.

Imperial Beach has had at least some of its beaches closed more than a third of the year on average in the last decade, according to a Union-Tribune analysis of beach-closure data from the county.


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