Trapped Body in Tijuana Lift Station Causes 14.5 million gal of Wastewater to Flow into U.S.

Oct. 18, 2019

A trapped dead body clogged up pumps in the Tijuana River and caused nearly 14.5 million gal of wastewater to flow into the U.S. from Mexico.

A trapped dead body clogged up pumps in the Tijuana River and caused approximately 14.5 million gal of treated and untreated wastewater to flow into the U.S. from Mexico, according to Newsweek.

The body was trapped in the water intake screens along the river channel used to filter out debris. The screens were also filled with trash, Mexican authorities said to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The body has not yet been identified, nor has a cause of death been determined.

Mexican water officials cleared the scene earlier this week after constructing a temporary raised bank to assist in stopping the overflow of the sewage, reported the International Business Times

Sewage water flowing from Tijuana into Southern California has been an issue for decades, according to Fox 5 San Diego. In September, more than 100 gal of water in the Tijuana River were contaminated by sewage water from Mexico for more than 10 days. San Diego Council members approved a state of emergency resolution connected to the sewage from the Tijuana River Valley during this incident. 

“This has been going on for far too long and South Bay is not a dumping ground,” said District Eight Councilmember Vivian Moreno, who authored the resolution. “To solve this international crisis, we must stop pointing fingers. This is a regional issue that calls for a regional solution.” 

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law in September that seeks to address water quality issues in the Tijuana River Valley. The bill will help redirect $15 million already set aside in June to projects aimed at preventing and fighting toxic sewage flows from Mexico into the South Bay, reported Fox 5 San Diego.

300 days every year, sewage overflow causes beach closings in Southern California, reported KFOR.

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Cristina Tuser