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South Bay Mayors Want County to Ditch New Coastal Water Quality Test

New technology revealed coastal waters in San Diego’s southernmost cities are likely contaminated by sewage from Mexico a lot more often in the touristy summer season than we ever knew before. But now the mayors of those cities want to go back to testing beach water quality the old way.

The county of San Diego’s rollout of the new technology and subsequent closing and abrupt reopening of beaches has confused beachgoers and drawn divisions between South Bay elected officials and their staff who are all fighting the same source of pollution: Sewage spilling from Tijuana over land and water borders into the U.S.

Will Coronado, Imperial Beach Shorelines Be Closed All Summer? New Testing Reveals Rampant Tijuana Sewage

Coronado’s tony seaside community and working-class Imperial Beach could be headed for a major reckoning with the sewage continuing to spilling over the border from Tijuana.

Beach closures that were once thought of as largely a wintertime occurrence now appear poised to become a year-round phenomena in San Diego’s South Bay.

However, that’s not because the cross-border pollution from Baja California’s overtaxed and crumbling wastewater system has dramatically escalated, according to county officials.

Border Sewage Projects Secure Funding, But Progress Will Be Slow

San Diego officials are optimistic that a long-term fix to stop persistent cross-border sewage flows is close. There is now money available and more than two dozen projects are already vetted, but it could still be years before the majority of the flows stop.

See How Your Favorite Beach Ranks in the Latest Pollution Report Card

As coronavirus beach restrictions continue to complicate summer plans, Californians have at least one thing to look forward to: Most of the coast is much cleaner than in years past.