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Cleaning Up Pollution On Mexican Border

An Arizona company will upgrade a sewage treatment plant that collects and treats 25 million gallons of Tijuana's sewage. Environmental leaders say it's a significant step toward reducing pollution al

An Arizona company will upgrade a sewage treatment plant that collects and treats 25 million gallons of Tijuana's sewage. Environmental leaders say it's a significant step toward reducing pollution along a stretch of San Diego County's coastline.  KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

The U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission awarded the $88 million contract to a Tempe construction company.

The upgraded treatment plant will clean the sewage to meet federal clean water standards before it's pumped into the ocean.

Serge Dedina of Imperial Beach-based Wildcoast says it's the first step toward reducing ocean pollution in the South Bay.

Dedina: We're still going to have a problem with the rainfall but we're going to have less of a problem with the dry weather issue that has become much more significant lately.

Rains carry trash and debris on Tijuana streets to the ocean.

But Dedina says there's efforts to fix that problem too.

Dedina: Tijuana's moving quickly to open two additional sewage treatment plants. They just opened one which should have an impact on reducing sewage flows in the river.

He says Wildcoast is also working on plans to clean up Tijuana streets.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.