The shoreline of Imperial Beach in San Diego County, California has been closed to swimmers after sewage contamination flowed from Mexico's Tijuana River.
The San Diego County Department of Environment, Health issued a warning on Sunday, expanding the closure of the southern part of the Imperial Beach to the city’s entire shoreline.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, over 110 million gallons of toxic storm water has flowed from the Tijuana River since April, while the southern part of the coast along the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge has been closed since November.
The closure of the shoreline will remain until testing shows that the water is safe to swim. Some locals reportedly took it to the streets to pressure the officials to address the water pollution issue, with some reportedly holding signs reading “stop the poop.”
The pollution is becoming increasingly endemic as San Diego often suffers from water rushing across the city picking up trash as the city is based at the end of large watershed that starts in the mountains in and around Tijuana, according to the Union-Tribune.
A collection system aimed at diverting flows of water to wastewater treatment plant, operated by the federal government, often gets overwhelmed due to rain, leading to the pollution of the beaches.
The state of California and its cities sued last year the federal government for the sewage-contamination flows from Mexico. The federal lawsuit contends that federal inaction has led to tens of millions of gallons of "almost continuous" sewage, and seeks to force federal officials to upgrade systems to divert polluted flows.
The defense attorneys said that the government cannot be held responsible for the overflowing, the newspaper reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.