Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Calexico Officials Worry About Sewage, Clean Water After Quake


Calexico wastewater authorities expect to contain a massive sewage spill caused by Sunday's earthquake within the next 48 hours. Calexico water officials worry whether they will have enough clean water for the city.

A massive sewage spill caused by Sunday's earthquake should be contained within the next 48 hours, according to Calexico wastewater authorities. Calexico water officials worry whether they will have enough clean water for the city.

Calexico wastewater authorities say Sunday's quake cracked open a sewage pipe that carries half the city's waste to the treatment plant.

Officials estimate 1.3 million gallons of sewage a day pass through the pipe.

Since Sunday, more than 200,000 gallons have poured into the New River, which drains into the Salton Sea. The river is a migrant crossing spot. The Salton Sea is California's largest lake and a wildlife habitat.

Victor Rodriguez manages Calexico's water treatment plant. He says quake damage has cut Calexico's clean water supply in half. He says if it isn't fixed, he'll run out of water when summer comes.

"It's so hot here that people start using water. Demand goes way, way, way up," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says it'll take at least until early June to make $17 million worth of repairs. The average temperature in June in Calexico is 100 degrees Fahrenheit.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.