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August 28, 2012

Another Sewage Spill Causes Beach Closure in Playas de Tijuana

by Paloma Aguirre

Sewage Spill in Playas de Tijuana Highlights Need for Improved Border Region Wastewater Infrastructure


The International Boundary and Water Commission’s Mexican Section reported today that a broken line in Playas de Tijuana is causing a spill of untreated sewage into the surf zone one mile south of the International Border. Mexican health agencies have issued a beach closure for Playas de Tijuana. The spill is estimated to be at 70 liters per second, which equates to approximately 1.59 million gallons per day. Baja California’s State Public Services Commission (CESPT) expects to repair the damaged sewage pipeline by the end of the day.

 A similar spill in January 2011 resulted in the release of more than 30 million gallons of sewage into the ocean before Tijuana authorities resolved the issue.

 “These sewage spills happen because of old infrastructure in Tijuana,” said Paloma Aguirre, Coastal Conservation Program manager for WiLDCOAST. “The release of sewage into the ocean at Playas puts the health of ocean users from both sides of the border at risk and highlights the need to improve wastewater infrastructure in the border region.”


San Diego County health officials have been notified of the situation and are closely monitoring beach water quality in south San Diego beaches for potential impacts from the spill and will issue a beach closure should one be needed.


WiLDCOAST will be monitoring water quality and ocean conditions in Imperial Beach and Coronado to make sure that ocean users are not impacted by the sewage if it moves north of the border.



WiLDCOAST is 501C(3) non-profit International Conservation Team based in Imperial Beach that works to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife.