SAN DIEGO — Another large sewage spill is contaminating the Tijuana River Valley and threatening South Bay beaches – an issue that has been going on for years.
The new spill comes amid a lawsuit filed by several San Diego cities over the ongoing environmental issue.
The International Boundary and Water Commission said 1.8 million gallons have spilled since the spill began. More than 430 million gallons of sewage have spilled in 2019 alone. Imperial Beach bearing the brunt with countless beach closures and reports of illnesses.
“It’s been a really big team effort and that is what it is going to take to fix this problem,” said Mayor Serge Dedina.
This month the EPA laid out a blue print to address the problem. San Diego leaders have asked for $400 million to help divert sewage and wastewater flows away from the Tijuana River Valley.
This week, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer discussed the issue with the president of the United States.
"It was an opportunity to give some real-world examples of how this is important to our environment first and foremost and also how important it is to our cross-boarder economy,” said Faulconer.
So far, the latest spill has not yet reached the ocean, but Imperial Beach residents said unfortunately, they know that could change at any time.
Lifeguards and county health officials are monitoring the situation to make sure the contaminated water does not flow into the ocean.
For now, the beaches remain open.