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Mexico Says Help Is On The Way For Communities Suffering From Cross Border Pollution Flows

Photo by Erik Anderson

Pollution warning sign posted in Imperial Beach near the southern end of Seacoast Drive on Jan. 31, 2020.

Mexican officials say there may be relief soon for San Diego South Bay residents living with massive daily sewage flows from Tijuana.

The sewage-tainted flows routinely hit 25 million gallons a day. Some days earlier this year, the flow topped 70 million gallons.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

RELATED: Border Sewage Projects Secure Funding, But Progress Will Be Slow

Imperial Beach has been flooded with sewage this summer, and the city’s beaches have been closed for most of the year because of it.

“I think we can look forward to in the future cleaner beaches,” said Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina. “But for right now we’re not holding our breath. We’re not taking anyone’s word for granted. I think when that river stops flowing, then we’ll be happy.”

Dedina called the current situation unacceptable.

RELATED: US Officials Confirm Massive Cross Border Sewage Spills

The Consul General of Mexico in San Diego said there are things happening in Tijuana that will help. In a written statement responding to questions by KPBS, Carlos González Gutiérrez said there are several projects underway.

The Mexican government has new pumps that will be installed at a key location near the U.S.-Mexico border.

There is also a flood diversion dam under construction there and Mexico is looking for a private contractor to run that critical piece of infrastructure.


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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.

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