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South Bay mother claims sewage spill is causing health issues

Posted at 2:40 PM, Aug 30, 2023

IMPERIAL BEACH (KGTV) — People living in a South Bay neighborhood still unable to sleep with smell of sewage coming through their windows.

It's been two days since the Hollister Pump Station nearby spilled 20,000 gallons of sewage on these streets. Homeowners say they're fed up with this pollution in the South Bay.

“I feel at a loss often, just don’t know what to do,” said Haley Wolf, a resident in Imperial Beach.

Wolf is struggling to raise her two children in Imperial Beach.

“As much as I try to pour into them, the very environment they’re living in, the soil they’re touching, the water, the air their breathing is affected,” Wolf said.

Monday’s sewage spill is just the latest in a string of issues related to pollution. South Bay beaches are often closed due to sewage from Tijuana and more recently, California American Water reported there was E. Coli in their tap water.

Wolf says her children’s health is compromised.

“Stomach issues, sicknesses, and it’s really sad because they don’t know what to do and they don’t know who to go to for help,” said Wolf.

Most people in Wolf's neighborhood don’t have central air conditioning. They have to choose between opening their windows to the rancid smell of sewage or closing them and sweating in the heat.

“I was laying there two nights ago, it smelled all night," said David Glaze, an Imperial Beach resident. "It got so strong I had to close the window. It was really bad.”

On Tuesday, the Mayor of Imperial Beach called on Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a sewage state of emergency. Mayor Aguirre says this could supply much needed funding to improve infrastructure.

In a statement to ABC10News she wrote: “His inaction borderlines on callous disregard of our south San Diego community, especially the people of Imperial Beach.”

“I don’t understand why action hasn’t been taken," Glaze said. "The U.S. Government needs to step in and fix the problem.”

The International Border and Water Commission says they've ordered replacement pumps to restore the Hollister Pump Station as soon as possible.