Sea spray contaminated with RAW SEWAGE found on California beach: Scientists discover 13 billion gallons of polluted water flowed into the ocean from the Mexico River last year
Californians vacationing on San Diego’s Imperial Beach inhale sea spray, aerosol particles formed from the ocean, contaminated by raw sewage, new research reveals.
Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography found that an estimated 13 billion gallons of polluted water has entered the Pacific Ocean through the Tijuana River since December 28, 2022.
Up to three-quarters of the airborne bacteria on beaches come from the aerosolization of raw sewage in the surf zone, suggesting swimmers and surfers aren’t the only ones affected.
Wastewater flowing from the river into the ocean has been a persistent problem for more than a decade.
The cities of Imperial Beach and Chula Vista have filed a lawsuit against the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), alleging that they violated the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by failing to take steps to mitigate the pollution of the control coastal waters.
A settlement was recently reached last month and IBWC agreed to increase cooperation with Mexico’s water authorities to prevent future wastewater discharges.
Scientists have found raw sewage particles in the sea spray that flows through Imperial Beach, coming from polluted water from the Tijuana River. The river flows into the Pacific Ocean
Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, located at the University of California, San Diego, began this research by sampling coastal aerosols from Imperial Beach and water from the Tijuana River between January and May 2019.
DNA sequencing and mass spectrometry were then implemented to link bacteria and chemical compounds in coastal aerosol back to the sewage-contaminated Tijuana River that flows into coastal waters.
“Aerosols from the ocean were found to contain bacteria and chemicals that came from the Tijuana River,” the team said.
Most bacteria and viruses found in tainted sea spray are harmless.
However, researchers are continuing to explore infectivity, exposure levels and other factors that determine risk.
Lead author Matthew Pendergraft said in a rack: ‘This research shows that coastal communities are exposed to coastal water pollution even without entering polluted water.
“More research is needed to determine the level of risk to the public from aerosolized coastal water pollution.
These findings provide further justification for giving priority to cleaning up coastal waters.’
The raw sewage has led officials to close Imperil Beach (pictured) for half of 2022
The people of Imperial Beach have been grappling with the problem of raw sewage for some time now.
The city says the beach at the pier was about 50 percent closed last year and areas further south were 100 percent closed.
Congress recently passed two bills allocating approximately $400 million to improve water infrastructure on the US-Mexico border. Local 10 News reports.
Mexico has also pledged $144 million to repair pipes in their water treatment plants.