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'When are they going to fix this?' Imperial Beach locals feel the impacts of beach closures

Imperial Beach.jpg
Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 20:47:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The tide along Imperial Beach is not washing away the water's dirty secret.

It's contamination from sewage washing in from down south.

"It's been a problem for several years and you start thinking to yourself, 'When are they going to fix this?," Michael Bibbey of Bibbey's Shell Shop said.

Bibbey and his family have run Bibbey's Shell Shop right across the street from Imperial Beach Pier since the 1980s.

For weeks, the Imperial Beach beaches and Coronado beaches were closed.

Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina met with leaders Tuesday to learn more about the new test that's led to what he told 10News is an economic disaster.

Bibbey said business is down a little bit but he's more concerned about the long-term impacts.

"What impression people are going to get when they come to I.B. for the first time and the next time they plan a vacation they are just going to remember like, "Yeah, we went to I.B. and it was nice but we couldn't go swimming.' why do people go to the beach? They want to go swimming," said Bibbey.

While most south bay beaches re-opened Monday, the beach areas closer to the Tijuana border are still closed.

That's because the new rapid tests the county rolled out in May still show higher bacteria levels

"I'm concerned about him mostly because of his paws and then he licks himself. So I make sure when I get home that I wipe his paws down," said Javier Cevallos.

Cevallos walks his dog in the impacted area a few times per week.

He and many of the locals just want to know when will there be a solution?

Cevallos and Bibbey said if the contamination wasn't there the beach area would be more popular.

"I wish they would sit down and actually do something about it," said Cevallos.

Bibbey pointed out that Imperial Beach is fixing itself up.

"You see more and more people coming to I.B. and I think I.B. can really just keep going," said Bibbey.