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Beachgoers on new contamination-warning system at Imperial Beach

IB Still.jpg
Posted at 5:38 PM, Jul 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-02 20:38:57-04

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) — People hitting the beach in South County this holiday weekend will see a new warning system in place that shows when beach water is unsafe for swimming.

In Imperial Beach, beachgoers came across a blue warning sign, which means the beach water may contain sewage and cause illness.

But, some visitors told 10News that's not stopping them from enjoying the beach.

"Yep, [still] going into the water. I don't really think much of it," Jenn Garcia said.

"There's so many things that can make a difference in our health nowadays like what we consume and the products that we use... I am not concerned about the ocean water," Courtney Hogan said.

Before the new signs, beaches would close if there was suspected sewage in the water.

Now, if there's an advisory sign or a warning sign of possible contamination, the beach remains open, and people can choose whether to get in the water.

Beaches will still close if test results show the water is contaminated.

"Now, you're not keeping them out of the water. At least they can walk in the water," said Michael Bibbey.

Bibbey owns a shell and rock shop by the beach. He's not concerned the new signs may deter people from the beach or nearby businesses.

He said he prefers the new system versus simply shutting down the beaches.

"Now, that they [county] give them [beachgoers] some options, maybe people will still have a reason to come here because I don't want them to come here, get upset, and the next time they look for a beach, they're not coming to IB," Bibbey said.