Sewage spill may affect bi-annual surf contest - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sewage spill may affect bi-annual surf contest

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A wave of concern is sweeping the South Bay over a sewage spill, and it comes just as the Surfrider Foundation is about to host the first-ever bi-national Surf The Border Surf Competition.

The event consists of two competitions occurring simultaneously on either side of the border - Surfrider Baja will host a contest in Playas de Tijuana and Surfrider San Diego will host a contest at Border Field State Park.

The competition is set for Sunday, but there is concern over signs posted warning the public about contaminated water. The muddy water is pooling from a sewage leak in Mexico. 

The Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center said it is safe for surfers to get in the water, but they are concerned about the road and the ability for surfers to access the beach. 

The environmental non-profit Surfrider Foundation San Diego said the sewage leak in no way threatens the water for surfers participating in Sunday's competition on the U.S.- Mexico border. 

"Safety is on of our concerns and we want to make sure that all of our contestants are competing in clean water," said Scott Ridout. 

For the past three days the marshes have been pumped to clear the road; however, if the road cannot be fixed by Sunday, surfers will be shuttled to the beach. 

Mr. Ridout, who is the chairman of Surfrider's No Border Sewage Committee, said although the leak was man made, the competition is to raise awareness about working bi-nationally to build infrastructure to prevent water contamination. 

"We hope to galvanize more people towards the issue and one day eliminate trash and sewage in the Tijuana River," he said. 

The International Boundary and Water Commission will put a base on the road, like a thin gravel on Saturday. On Sunday, they will make a final determination if it's safe to cross. 

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