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The county’s Department of Environmental Health sent out its 2005 report on beach closures late yesterday. It’s worth taking a look at, if only for the pictures.

Seriously. They’re insightful.

We’ve certainly written a lot about the plume of sewage-contaminated water that runs down Tijuana’s hills and into the Tijuana River after each rainfall. That’s the stuff that crosses the border and spills into the Pacific Ocean, often closing San Diego beaches from the border to Coronado. You don’t want to surf in it.

But a picture is worth, well, a few words. So check out the picture on the fourth page of this report. That’s what the foul-smelling stuff looks like from above. In the image, it’s heading south.

It doesn’t always do that.

The report synthesizes the year in beach closures, some of which was already reported by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.

The NRDC cited a 22 percent drop in beach closures (from all sources); the county report estimates it at 14 percent (specifically from sewage contamination.)

Throughout 2005, 575,000 gallons of sewage was spilled into the ocean, down from 7 million gallons in 2004.


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