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Massive sewage spill from Tijuana pushed to San Diego by south swell

A reported 49 million gallons of sewage is being pushed north by a new south swell.

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — Another huge sewage spill in the Tijuana River Valley is making its way to the ocean. 

And with a new south swell having arrived in San Diego County, the sewage will soon arrive in the waters off of Imperial Beach. 

Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina has been fighting for clean ocean water his entire time in office. This recent spill continues to grow.

"We've had an advisory, 49 million gallons of sewage has spilled along the Mexico-U.S. border, it hasn't reached the ocean yet," says Dedina. "As I understand it, the spill is ongoing and is at 30 million gallons a day, so a lot more sewage is being discharged."

 Morgan Rogers is with the International Boundary Water Commission. He says the spill occurred on Saturday as crews were repairing one of the main lines that carry sewage. 

The sewage seeped into the flood control channel and eventually spilled over into Smuggler's Gulch.

Baja officials had to shut down a pump station, meaning the International Treatment Plant in south San Diego County must work twice as hard. And it can't do as good a job treating the sewage that's discharged into the ocean.

Eventually, the sewage that has collected in the flood control channel will make its way to the ocean. 

Joe Sabol surfs Imperial Beach and says it won't take long for the south swell to push the pollution north.

"As strong as the current is right now it would only take a day once it hits the ocean. I'm sure of it," says Sabol. "A guy paddled out and he's a quarter mile down the beach and he's only been out for five minutes."

The repairs are expected to take at least five days before the whole system can be put back online. For Mayor Dedina, he hopes that these spills will stop being commonplace.

 "This is a tragedy and it's preventable," Dedina told CBS 8. "We need a lot more investment in Tijuana and on our side of the border, so this doesn't kill them." 

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