Tijuana Sewage Stinks


During a span of two weeks, millions of gallons of sewage spilled into the Tijuana River, sending a nasty deluge into the waters off San Diego, closing numerous beaches for health concerns, and permeating a putrid stench.

The spill reportedly ended last week, but the remnants of the estimated 143 million gallons is still oozing into the ocean at Imperial Beach and other south S.D. County spots. And while cross-border sewage displacement is common, this is the largest discharge in two decades, according to San Diego water quality experts.

“This was like a tsunami of sewage spills,” Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, told the Los Angeles Times. “What’s worse is it looks to me like this was deliberate. It saves [the Mexican agencies] a lot of money in pumping costs, and ultimately, they can get away with it and do it all the time, just on a much smaller scale.”Reports from Mexico say the spill occurred during repair efforts on a pipe at the confluence of the Alamar and Tijuana rivers. But local officials and environmental agencies – including the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego chapter and Wildcoast – are calling for the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) and California state senators to launch a federal investigation.

As of now, according to Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card, there are closures due to the spill spanning over 10 miles from the U.S./Mexico border to Coronado.


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