Skip to main content

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

Body Trapped In Tijuana Pump Station Caused Sewage Spill Into US

Trash fills a binational waterway in the Tijuana River Valley near the San Di...

Photo by Susan Murphy

Above: Trash fills a binational waterway in the Tijuana River Valley near the San Diego-Mexico border, Jan. 5, 2016.

A body trapped inside a pump station in Tijuana prevented a pump station from diverting sewage south. That caused more than 14 million gallons of sewage to spill across the U.S.-Mexico border over the weekend, federal officials said.

The spill started around 9 p.m. Sunday night and continued until 8 a.m. Monday morning, according to the International Boundary and Water Commission. The trans-boundary flows included treated and untreated sewage.

Mexican officials say clean-up crews found a body trapped inside the intake screens of a major pump station that routes sewage south away from the border.

An investigation and removal of the body took almost two days, preventing the pump station from operating.

U.S. officials say the transboundary flows were contained on Internal Boundary and Water Commission property on the U.S. side of the border.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.


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.

Photo of Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.