Silver Strand State Beach
Silver Strand State Beach looking north. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

San Diego County’s Department of Environmental Health Wednesday extended the existing water contact closure area at the Tijuana Slough and Imperial Beach shorelines north to include the Silver Strand shoreline.

Sewage-contaminated runoff in the Tijuana River has been entering the Tijuana Estuary, and water sample results indicate contamination of ocean water now extends from the International Border north to the Silver Strand shoreline, officials said.

Signs warning of sewage-contaminated water will remain in place until sampling results indicate the ocean water is safe for recreational use.

On Tuesday, legislators announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will spend $300 million to address the problem of toxic sewage flowing across the border into San Diego County.

The money is part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act, and will be used for the engineering, planning, design and construction of wastewater infrastructure at the border, officials said.

— City News Service