SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Border Report) — When it rains in San Diego like it has this week, it also rains in Tijuana, creating a stinky and environmental problem for those who live north of the border.
A lot of runoff from Tijuana flows north into the U.S. specifically the Tijuana River Valley.
Trouble is, it’s not just water.
The water contains chemicals, plastics, trash, debris and above all, untreated sewage.
“Anytime it rains and even when it doesn’t it’s a toxic tsunami of toxic chemicals, foul smelling sewage, tons of garbage that flows from Tijuana into the valley, tires, dead animals, it’s bad stuff,” said Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina who often has to shut down his beaches because of the contamination coming from Mexico.
Numbers from the International Boundary Water Commission, an international agency that is supposed to monitor water issues along the border, estimates that 50 million gallons of untreated sewage is flowing into the U.S. from Mexico on a daily basis.
Most of it will end up in the Pacific Ocean, forcing the closure and beaches in the south portion of San Diego County. The contamination makes it unsafe for people to wander into the surf.
Other problems are also created. Many Border Patrol agents work in the valley and often have to get in the water and/or mud to do their jobs and they are getting sick.
Navy seals who train at a facility nearby are also becoming ill when they train on the beaches just north of the border.
“This is a huge environmental crisis and nothing is being done about it,” said Dedina.
His city is the hardest hit by the contamination.
“We can build a border wall in weeks, but we can’t do anything about this even though all these federal agents are getting sick?”