California beaches start to reopen weeks after sewage spill in Mexico

Sunday was the first day in several weeks that surfers, swimmers and kids wanting to play in the the wet sand had a green light to touch the Pacific Ocean in Coronado, but miles of beach south of there remained closed due to the huge sewage spill in Tijuana.

Beaches from Avenida Lunar, one block south of the Hotel del Coronado, north to the Navy Base were declared safe Saturday evening by the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health. Testing confirmed that the water quality met state health standards.

But the beaches of Silver Strand, Imperial Beach and the border area remained off limits to water contact due to sewage flows from the Tijuana River.


“The ocean shoreline from the International Border to the north end of Silver Strand at Avenida Lunar will remain closed until sampling confirms these areas are safe for water contact,” the department said in a statement.

International water quality experts were blindsided last month, when a major sewage transmission line in Tijuana was closed for repairs and millions of gallons of raw sewage diverted to the Tijuana River, which flows into the United States at San Ysidro.

South Bay Clean Water Movement hosted an event Sunday called “Letters at the Pier” involving kids and adults writing dozens of letters after U.S. officials estimate 143 million gallons of sewage spilled from Tijuana last month.

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