At the beginning of February, 140 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Tijuana River in Mexico and flowed north into Southern California. The spill happened during rehab of a sewage collection pipe and ran north of the border for more than two weeks. The river drains into the Pacific Ocean on the U.S. side.

Federal officials in the U.S. and Mexico didn’t say a word. To anyone. Including Serge Dedina, the mayor of Imperial Beach, California. Residents of his city and other coastal communities just north of the border complained about a growing stench, but no one knew why.

From the article:

“Border authorities charged with managing sewage infrastructure and reporting these spills must do better and be held accountable for this act,” Dedina said in a statement Saturday. He called for the resignation of Edward Drusina, chief of the international water commission, over his lack of attention to cross-border sewage flows.

The mayor said his office will seek an investigation into the spill and its aftermath, adding that U.S. officials ‘must make fixing sewage infrastructure a priority and issue of national security.'”

Thankfully, the San Diego County beaches, which would normally be closed by a spill of this magnatude, were already closed because of runoff from recent storms.

But this isn’t the first time this has happened. In the last couple of years, several large sewage spills- on both sides of the border- have exacerbated conditions in the Tijuana River, which is one of the most polluted waterways in the country; old sewage infrastructure in Tijuana and a lack of any plumbing in some residences have been blamed for the problem.

Source: The Sacramento Bee