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Mysterious Sewage Spill Flowing Into San Diego Baffles Officials


Photo: Getty Images

Millions of gallons of sewage-filled water are flowing into San Diego through a border drain instead of making its way from Tijuana to the international wastewater treatment plant.

According to Voice of San Diego, this indicates that there is a broken pipe or clog somewhere in Tijuana. Federal officials are currently investigating the situation.

It started on January 7 around 1:30 P.M. when nearly a million gallons of sewage escaped from Tijuana through Stewart's Drain, which is just east of the International Wasterwater Treatment plant operated by the International Boundary Water Commission (IBWC).

A spokeswoman for the commission, Lori Kuczmanski said the plant started receiving just over half the wastewater if usually should from Tijuana, about 12 to 13 million gallons.

“It was a little alarming,” said Kuczmanski. “We don’t know right now if there’s a break in the system or a broken pump. We’re exploring everything.” 

Another over half-million-gallon sewage spill was recorded by the IBWC on January 8 at around the same time in the afternoon.

On January 9 another spill over 13 million gallons of wastewater came through and on January 10 another 17 million gallons, reports Voice of San Diego.

On January 11, another over 8 million spill started around 2:45 P.M. and ended at 6:00 A.M.

“The frequency and upward trend is very concerning,” Morgan Rogers, a field officer for IBWC, wrote in a Jan. 11 spill report. He also wrote that he's currently working directly with Mexican officials to determine the cause of the spill.

According to the Voice of San Diego, the beaches of Imperial Beach, with is just north of the Tijuana River, have been closed since December 8 due to unhealthy coastal water conditions.


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