Some Imperial Beach residents who own beachfront condominiums are worried. They say they have been complaining to city hall for months after high-tide water started pooling in an area of beach that was rebuilt with sand. A $22.5 million San Diego Association of Governments entailed pumping more than 1.4 million cubic yards of sand onto regional beaches.
Residents believe the pooled seawater is seeping under their homes, into parking garages, and percolating through their front sidewalks where street-side landscaping is dying. Residents now fear their sewer, water, and phone lines will corrode.
“I’ve lived here 30 years on Seacoast Drive,” said Dave Recker. “I own the place, and as a surfer I loved the new sand, but something went wrong with the grading. I’ve never seen anything like it. Normally, the water flows back out to sea. Now it forms a pond and within two days it’s seeping under the driveway and concrete slab. We have cast-iron lines and there’s no telling the damage being done.”
Ed Vea with the Imperial Beach office of the city manager relayed a message to Seacoast Drive residents that SANDAG acknowledged there have been problems with pooling water and drainage in areas where new sand was placed, including the southern portion of Seacoast Drive. Residents were told that on Tuesday, December 11, they would start remedial grading on the new sand to alleviate the problems.
“Two bulldozers showed up,” said Recker. “They pushed sand against the rocks the whole length of the beach. This just changed the pool, moving it 20 feet further from our homes.”
Several buildings north of Recker’s, a Rescue Rooter crew was busy pumping water out from a condominium’s underground garage. The foreman on the project said the water was storm runoff from the recent rains and that he wasn’t unaware of any leaking seawater complaints.