New beach sand may be damaging Imperial Beach homes

IB residents say the sand is graded wrong

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. - A project to replenish sand in Imperial Beach is causing major problems for some residents.

Several residents told 10News the San Diego Association of Governments' (SANDAG) elaborate sand replenishment program is causing seawater to seep into their homes.

SANDAG just finished distributing 1.4 million cubic yards of sand up and down San Diego County's coast, including Imperial Beach. The project cost about $28 million.

Resident Greg Fischer said the grading of the recently installed sand outside his IB condo is off.

He pointed out how the beach level actually rises from the ocean and then descends towards his condo complex. During some high tides, the water comes over the sand, but doesn't return to the ocean. Fischer thinks it drains from these mini-lagoons and rests against underground seawalls surrounding these properties.

"And I think the wall got compromised," said Fischer.

Fischer lifted the elevator in his complex to show 10News how he suspects the seawater is now seeping into shaft.

"If we have a power outage or the sump pump fails and that starts filling up with water, we're talking about tens of thousands of dollars," said Fischer.

SANDAG spokeswoman Colleen Windsor told 10News engineers couldn't have anticipated the larger-than-usual waves Imperial Beach received last month.

"It changed the nature of the sand and the location of the sand more than we anticipated," said Windsor.

SANDAG and Imperial Beach officials will discuss the issue during Wednesday night's city council meeting.

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