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Mysterious Flow in Tijuana River Leaves Community/City of Imperial Beach Looking for Answers

Mar 18, 2017 09:46AM ● By Paul Spear

A Mysterious Flow Reported in the Tijuana Was Reported and has the Community and the city of Imperial Beach Looking for Answers. City Calls to Mexican Officials Have Not Been returned!

Dig Imperial Beach is committed to keeping our community updated on the recent sewage spills in the Tijuana River Valley. Unexplained flows continue in the Tijuana River even though it hasn’t rained in several days. Officials from Imperial Beach and IBWC have asked their Mexican counterparts for answers, but to date no responses have been provided.


Brad Partlow, who took the above photo at the Hollister Bridge, raised the issue at Monday’s Surfrider meeting held at the Robert Egger Park Recreation Center. He mentioned his frustration that workers in Mexico have failed to ask Imperial Beach or San Diego for assistance when needed, even though those cities have offered to help when spills occur.


Over a week ago, City officials were invited to attend a meeting at CSESPT, the Mexican 

equivalent of the IBWC. They were informed that a major sewer collection line had collapsed and that for four days, sewage was diverted into the Tijuana River. The IBWC is preparing a report that will is expected to provide detailed information about the amount of effluent that was diverted into the river and what steps need to be taken to avoid future spills. City Manager Andy Hall is confident that the report will be an accurate reflection of the incident, but is concerned that the amount of effluent reported by Mexican Officials is much lower than the amount reported by the IBWC. “In some respects, it doesn’t matter whether the spill was just over 20 million gallons as reported by CSESPT or the original estimate of 143 million gallons from IBWC, one gallon of raw sewage is too much,” he told Dig Imperial Beach.


 The City has been inundated with phone calls, letters, and emails from enraged residents, even though they are glad that residents are involved. Some callers want to help and others want to verify rumors. Andy was particularly concerned with a rumor that Dig Imperial Beach inquired about that the beach was only opened to accommodate spring break. “We will never open the beach without safe test results from the Health Department. We take safety very seriously,” he explained. He went on to ask that residents and visitors follow the warnings issued by the City and stay out of the water when the beach is closed. “It is possible to enter the water when polluted and not get sick, but it is also possible that you could contract a serious illness from polluted water. Furthermore, you are potentially putting lifeguards at risk and setting a poor example for kids and visitors who are not familiar with our local challenges.”  


Photo Credit: Brad Parlow

Paul Spear, Editor, Dig Imperial Beach would like to thank Imperial Beach City Manager, Andy Hall, for taking the time to make sure we reflected accurately what is happening inside the city.


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