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People enjoy waters at Imperial Beach despite contamination

Posted at 7:03 PM, Mar 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-30 22:03:55-04

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif., (KGTV) — One week after San Diego County lifted the beach closure at the Imperial Beach Pier, many people are enjoying the waves. But parts of the coastline remain closed due to the Tijuana River runoff contamination.

Nicolas Pasculli of Hillcrest, drove down specifically to Imperial Beach to avoid the weekend crowds.

“We’ve had rain for such a long time. It’s nice to enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air," Pasculli said.

We met him sunbathing on the sand, just south of Seacoast Drive. Compared to some of the other areas in the county, this beach was empty.

“Maybe because the sign is up and it says to be careful, the water might be contaminated,” Pasculli said.

Bright yellow signs are clearly posted at the entrance of the beach. Last week, San Diego County Environmental Health gave the green light for people to enjoy beaches north of the last house on Southeast Drive in Imperial Beach. But Pasculli was right in the middle of the 'Red zone,' where the county deemed unsafe due to Tijuana sewage contamination since last November. That did not seem to bother him.

“The way I look at it, we’re pretty close to that last house, so I think we’re in a gray zone, so I’m not worried about it,” Pasculli said.

Surfer Dane Crosby was not phased by the warnings either.

“It’s a north swell today, so I know that the water is moving south," he said.

The Imperial Beach resident already surfed the waters in the morning.
He was at the beach again, walking his dog Dixie.

“When it is dirty, you’ll get an essence of detergent, kind of like a peppery detergent smell,” Crosby said.

But today, he did not smell anything. Neither did Pasculli. They are both confident that the winds and waves will filter away the contaminants.

“I think sometimes people get over anxious about things because we’ve become such a germaphobe society,” Pasculli said. “The ocean is pretty active today, so I think it's going to clean itself out.”