Imperial Beach families call for Coronado to join sewage lawsuit

Posted at 6:36 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 13:50:47-04

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - Families fighting for clean water at South Bay Beaches are hoping Coronado will join the lawsuit that the City of Imperial Beach plans to file against the federal government.

Earlier this month, Imperial Beach announced its intention to sue the U.S section of the International Boundary and Water Commission; that's the federal agency that oversees water agreements between Mexico and the United States.

Stan Searfus runs surf camps in Coronado.

RELATED: Frustrated Imperial Beach mayor to file a lawsuit to protect city from Mexican raw sewage spill

"Please let us enjoy a clean ocean, is that too much to ask?"  It's no fun when the water is dirty," that's what Searfus wrote on a postcard to local, state and federal officials Tuesday afternoon outside Coronado's City Council meeting.

During a closed session, Coronado City Council heard from several residents who want Coronado to join Imperial Beach's lawsuit against the IBWC.

RELATED: Imperial Beach Mayor: New sewage spill dumped 335K gallons in TJ River

"The dirty water that comes up from Mexico gets to Coronado. I had a bunch of days this winter where I couldn't surf because the water was dirty. We just think the city of Coronado can use their political clout to add onto the program, that's going, in what we think, is the right direction," said Searfus.

Daron Case is a resident of the Coronado Cays. He spoke during the closed session to try to convince the council of the merits of the lawsuit. Case pointed to the fact that two previous suits, one filed by the Surf Rider Foundation and the other by the state of Arizona against the IBWC, had favorable results.

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"What we're looking for in this case is infrastructure or some solution to prevent the cross border sewage and toxic waste that continues to come through from Mexico to the United States, " said Case.

Last February, heavy rain storms were too much for Tijuana's aging pipes.

"We had a what's' been called the tsunami of sewage spills. I call it the perfect storm of sewage spills in February of this year with 250 million gallons," said Case.

Lori Kuczmanski, a public affairs officer with IBWC, issued a statement to 10News regarding the lawsuit:

"The IBWC has actively been working with Mexico to address the sanitation issues that's affecting the San Diego region. IBWC has done substantial work over the years, and we continue to do substantial work to address the sanitation issues. IBWC, Mexico and our Work Groups continue to work together to come to long term solutions."