Millions of gallons of raw sewage are flowing down Mexico’s Tijuana River to the Pacific Ocean, prompting the closure of San Diego, California area beaches, officials said.
The Baja California, Mexico, Health Department said the 30-inch-diameter pipe linking a pump station to the Punta Bandera treatment plant broke about a mile south of the U.S. border during December’s rainstorms.
Estimates of the size of the spill vary from 1.3 million gallons to 30 million gallons per day, and will be among the largest single incidents in the last 10 years to affect San Diego County, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The issue of wastewater has caused tension along the U.S.-Mexican border for the last 70 years because Tijuana’s sewage system has not kept up with modern methods. U.S. and Mexican agencies have tried to minimize the pollution by constructing treatment plants and other facilities, the Union-Tribune reported.