Calif. beaches warn ‘sewage contaminated water’ amid heat wave: ‘The level of stress when you smell the stench…’

Amid the ongoing crisis at the southern U.S. border, it now seems the dangers creeping into the country through California are also being seen on the state’s beaches.

Forget trying to cool off at eight of the Golden State’s beaches despite heat warnings and advisories, as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health measured high levels of bacteria and posted yellow warning signs to keep out of the water.

(Image: KGTV screenshot)

And along the U.S.-Mexico border, Silver Strand Shoreline, Imperial Beach Shorelines, and the Tijuana Slough Shoreline had signs posted as alarmingly high levels of bacteria have been found caused by raw sewage in the waters. In fact, the Imperial Beach location has been dealing with sewage flowing from Tijuana, Mexico for more than two years, according to KGTV.

This comes as Sunday saw a broken sewage main at The Inn at Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County dump roughly 7,600 gallons of sewage into a storm drain and then out into the harbor, forcing beaches to close.

“Contact with ocean water while swimming or surfing may increase the risk for certain types of illnesses such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting, and diarrhea,” public health officials advised, according to KTLA.

(Video Credit: Fox11)

Over at Imperial Beach, considered the dirtiest beach in the country, Mayor Paloma Aguirre wants something done after spending the last month coughing due to the pollution.

“We need our state and federal governments to declare a state of emergency,” Aguirre said at a press conference Monday, according to KGTV. “Our community deserves clean air and clean water, and we will not rest until this is resolved.”

“The level of stress when you smell the stench, when you get sick and you worry about your children, and the level of stress and the depression is real. It’s difficult to measure, but it’s there,” said Dr. Marvel Harrison who attended the press conference.

Aguirre and San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer are working on securing state and federal funding to fix the sewage problem that has reportedly been ongoing for a century.

“We also are going to be pursuing additional funding and support to discuss the public and economic impacts of the sewage crisis,” Lawson-Remer said.

(Image: KGTV screenshot)

“People in my community are getting sick left and right,” the Democrat mayor told the Los Angeles Times.

“We cannot afford to continue to punt the responsibility across the border because we have a dire situation here on United States soil, on California soil, that is harming California constituents,” asserted Aguirre, who has called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency.

La Jolla, Children’s Pool, Coronado, Coronado Lifeguard Tower, Ocean Beach, Dog Beach, the San Diego River outlet, Mission Bay, North Cove, and Vacation Isle have had advisories issued as well.

The environmental organization Surfrider Foundation found Imperial Beach in San Diego at the bottom of the list in testing water samples across the nation with the survey revealing that three of California’s beaches were among the ten most polluted in the U.S.

Frieda Powers

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