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Oscar Romo, Professor at UCSD, Speaks About Tijuana's Broken Sewage System & Illegal Dump Sites in Mexico

Mar 05, 2017 05:07PM ● By Linda Heath

The Public Meeting by the IBWC Continued After the Resident's Commentary.  A Presentation by Oscar Romo, Director of Alter Terra and Professor at UCSD about trash and illegal dump sites in Mexico was outlined and demonstrated how it is transported to Imperial Beach through ditches and culverts into the Tijuana River.

it is well known that there is a problem in Imperial Beach with massive amounts of trash flowing into and backing up the Tijuana River as it enters the Estuary and the beach front of Imperial Beach.

Mr. Romo has been part of Alter Terra which documents illegal dump sites and monitors the flow of the trash from Mexico.  The study was conducted using colored plastic bottles to determine the flow and origination of the trash.  There are no established drainage systems or regulated dumping sites in Tijuana and many trash dumping occurs at illegal sites or just in open sewer culverts. There are few concrete flow system and they are old and deteriorated.  Much of Tijuana is also on hills which allows for gravity to speed up the flow of trash down to the Tijuana River.

There are also no barriers in place to stop or divert the trash flows so it flows unimpeded through Tijuana into the River.  It is important to note that trash is generated by a population of 6,000,000 residents!  

Per Mr Romo, there is also corruption within the trash collection in Mexico and many charge fees to move and haul away trash, but then dump it in illegal sites or directly into the river.  This makes the task of controlling trash flow next to impossible and hard to pin down where the trash originated from.

After each rain storm we are inundated with massive trash flows which impact and close the river mouth into the Estuary and the beach.  Record numbers of tires and plastic are seen and tree debris, household trash and furniture are also found, along with waste material which is a major health concern for us and for the environment.  Perhaps this information will provide for more stringent practices of trash dumping and work towards the elimination of this trash immediately.

Mr Romo has kindly let us share some videos he has taken. You can see them below. We hope to interview Mr Romo and share his ideas on the problem and how it can be fixed. 
Linda Heath, Senior Reporter


Defense walls built with waste tires

The legacy of the storm/ROMO

Alter Terra: Smuggler's Gulch Culvert, January 20 2017

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