Imperial Beach Business Owners Fed Up with Sewage Smell

335,000 gallons of sewage dumped into Tijuana River on Thursday

A Thursday sewage spill in Tijuana sent 335,000 gallons of sewage into the Tijuana River continues to cause problems.

Business owners in the area tell NBC 7 it's now hurting their bottom line.

"It's like dead fish that's all I can tell you," business owner Shirley Yap said. Yap and her husband have owned French pastry shop Par Amour, just steps away from the water, for the last 10 years.

They said that lately the smell of sewage has taken over the aroma of fresh pastries.

"We lost a lot of business, actually," Yap said. "A lot of people don't come here all the time now and they can’t go swimming, they can’t go hang around close by the water."

Longtime residents agree.

"It's disgusting, you know what, and I'm scared to go in the water," Richard Cabral said. "Me and my girls were walking up on the pier the other day and it was night time and all you could see was just trash inside the water."

Cabral said a solution is needed, and now. He hopes the problem will soon be a thing of the past, and is asking for Mexico and the U.S. to work together.

Residents will get a chance to ask questions at Thursday's citizens forum hosted by the International Boundary and Water Commission in Imperial Beach.

The next USIBWC Citizens Forum will be June 1, 2017,  from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the Tijuana Estuary at 301 Caspian Way in Imperial Beach.

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