Mexican sewage spill flares US noses and tempers

A sign warns of sewage contaminated ocean waters on a beach Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Coronado, Calif. Coronado and Imperial Beach waters remain closed to swimmers and surfers Wednesday after more than 140 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Tijuana River in Mexico and flowed north of the border for weeks in February, according to a report. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Residents in a Southern California beach city are furious that U.S. and Mexican officials waited weeks to alert them to an estimated 143 million gallons of sewage that spilled across the border from Tijuana, Mexico.

The International Boundary and Water Commission said Thursday that it is investigating. An official with the joint U.S.-Mexican office said last week that the spill lasted 18 days, until Feb. 23.

The public didn’t learn about it until Feb. 24.

The spill occurred during repairs to Tijuana’s sewage system. At a raucous public hearing Thursday night in Imperial Beach, angry residents said they were fed up with continued problems with sewage from Mexico that fouls beaches and endangers their health.

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