Never-ending sewage from Tijuana

The city of Tijuana is the gift that keeps on giving and in this case it’s the continual release of contaminated runoff and untreated sewage that never stops finding its way to the Tijuana River. The most recent story is of an approximately 14.5 million gallon spill of raw sewage that was apparently caused by a dead body that caused trash to clog up a pump station [11]. How the body got there nobody knows! The area turned into a crime scene and the banks at the pump station were temporarily raised to stop the flow of fecal matter. What’s even better about the story is a reference to a plan presented by San Diego officials to solve the problem that requires between $400 million and $1.5 billion in U.S. federal funding to clean up Tijuana’s waste water [10]. There is so much to unpack from the small number of stories that I’ve cited below (yes, this is but a small sampling) but it’s fairly apparent that the United States has spent plenty of money on this issue over a timeframe of decades. I’m not really convinced that throwing more money at Mexico will fix the problem if they themselves aren’t willing to fix basic infrastructure issues.

Quite a large number of people lost their minds when the San Ysidro port of entry was closed for a measly six hours, just think about how six days might get a little bit more action from the source of the sewage problem? Perhaps the U.S. could raise tariffs on all Mexican goods by a few percent each month until Mexico takes substantive action? Or we could just give some people more money and hope that sewage treatment equipment is maintained and operated properly and that city planning is competently performed in Tijuana. I also have to wonder, why aren’t any Congressional Democrats screaming and shrieking about all of the rare wildlife being suffocated by tons of fecal matter and trash [7]? I guess that I just shouldn’t think about it. This problem of uncontrolled sewage flows from Mexico warrants a much longer post to explain in more excruciating detail (or a thesis) but for now I’ll just leave some video, photos, and links embedded below. There’s really nothing joyful to take away from this post but I do hope that it was informative and piqued your interest on this subject. That’s all for now…

Here’s a short anthology of stories relating to Tijuana’s never-ending deposit of shit into the Tijuana River:

  1. San Diego Reader – Shocking facts and horrifying history of Tijuana sewage (November 1988)
  2. The Washington Post – POLLUTION UNDER SCRUTINY AT U.S.-MEXICAN BORDER (October 1989)
  3. Los Angeles Times – State Aid Promised for Border Sewage Problem : Sanitation: Wilson says $900,000 will be used to treat polluted Tijuana River water in San Diego’s municipal sewer system. (March 1991)
  4. The San Diego Union Tribune – Ocean currents mean sewage pollution potential persists (January 2011)
  5. Surfrider Foundation – Tijuana River: The Largest Sewage Spill We’ve Ever Seen (March 2017)
  6. Fox News – Mexican sewage routinely fouling San Diego beaches, ocean waters (March 2017)
  7. The Coronado Times – Marine Life Mortality and Pollution Levels in Oceans (June 2017)
  8. The San Diego Union Tribune – Where does the contaminated Tijuana water flow? Depends on the swell (March 2018)
  9. ABC News 10 – San Diego leaders present $400 million plan to solve Mexican sewage problem (September 2019)
  10. Fox News – Dead body trapped in Tijuana pump station causes 14.5M gallons of raw sewage to spill into San Diego, officials say (October 2019)
  11. ABC News 10 – Trapped body causes 14.5 million gallons of Tijuana sewage to leak into US (October 2019)

Tijuana River Plume Tracker

tjrpts_20191015_1730

 

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