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Sewage is nothing new for Imperial Beach locals

Imperial beach overcast
Posted at 1:25 PM, Sep 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-10 23:59:13-04

IMPERIAL BEACH. Calif. (KGTV) - It might not look like it with dozens casting lines and others catching waves— but sewage is pouring into the South Bay.

Many Imperial Beach locals and regulars are no longer phased by the contamination because it’s expected.

“Every time, there's a storm. Even without the storm, there is contamination here in IB,” Fonzi Piao, Fisherman, said.

Piao was among the crowd of people fishing. He and most others aren’t unconcerned about potentially contaminated fish.

“People still eat the fish,” Piao said.

When now post Tropical Cyclone Kay made its way to the border region— the overflow of water running through the Tijuana River broke the berm barrier.

Now, the National Boundary Water Commission says millions of gallons of sewage, as well as rain and treated water, are likely already in the ocean.

RELATED: Coronado shoreline warning issued after bacteria levels increase

It’s definitely something people can smell, but just like the fishermen along the pier, local businesses aren’t too phased.

“The foods that good. You don’t even care if it smells like sewage outside,” Jenny Johnston said.

Johnston has worked at Imperial Beach Forum — a locally owned sports bar— for over five years. She says the spillage has never really impacted business.

“Everyone in IB just knows it’s that time of year, it just smells kinda like sewage,” Johnson said.

Locals ABC 10News spoke to add they don’t think the ongoing issue will improve anytime soon.

The South Bay isn’t the only area that should be concerned about runoff into the ocean. There is a rain advisory that is anticipated to be in effect until Sept. 12 due to urban run-off.