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Environment

2 Million Gallons Of Sewage Flow From Tijuana River To Ocean

A sign warning people not to swim in Imperial Beach after a sewage spill in January 2011.
A sign warning people not to swim in Imperial Beach after a sewage spill in January 2011.

A spill of roughly two million gallons of sewage into the Tijuana River left an already contaminated stretch of shoreline just north of the U.S.-Mexico line further fouled today.

The wastewater drained out of a ruptured pipeline in the Rio Alamar area of Baja California for about 12 hours, starting at midday Tuesday, according to the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health.

The north-flowing river carried the contaminants across the international border and into the ocean west of San Ysidro. The pollution was expected to affect a several-mile stretch of shoreline south of Imperial Beach, which was already posted for health hazards due to rain-driven sewage that has entered the surf since the middle of March, the DEH advised.

Signs warning of contaminated waters will stand in the affected areas until follow-up testing deems them safe again for recreational uses.