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Update on Storm Drain Blockage at Matadero Canyon, Mexico

Jan 08, 2020 06:10PM ● By Paul Spear

Update on Storm Drain Blockage at Matadero Canyon




-8 foot diameter pipe was blocked with unknown objects on or around December 26. Mexico was unable to remove the blockage. 


-Over 20 feet of water accumulated on the south side of the Tijuana highway due to the blocked pipe. 


-On Monday, January 6th, USIBWC, CILA, CESPT and CONAGUA met to discuss options. It was decided to have controlled releases less than or equal to the capacity of Smugglers Gulch system. This way the flows could be captured and sent to South Bay International Waste Water Treatment Plant and avoid getting to Imperial Beach. 


-On Monday afternoon, the above group met with various stakeholders including County, City, EPA, CBP, Water Board, and State Parks to give them details on the plan.  


-Currently Mexico has removed and continues to remove trash and debris from ponded water area. 


-Mexico has two large pumps removing water through two 8 inch pipes (see pictures) and bypassing it under the highway to Smugglers Gulch where IBWC is capturing it and sending it to the (SBIWWTP) plant. 


-Mexico has built a road toward the 8 foot diameter pipe to drill a hole on top and install perforated pipes to control flow and keep debris from entering the pipe. See picture. 


-IBWC system is handling the flow at Smugglers Gulch.  See pictures. 


-As long as we do not have large rainstorm in this watershed, Mexico will continue to discharge only the amount that our Smuggler’s Gulch system can handle.  If we have a large rainstorm, we may have to release more water to keep highway safe from collapsing. In that case, we would have trans boundary flows that would reach imperial beach. 


-IBWC is in the process of getting Veolia, SBIWTP contractor, to add sand bags at weir so we could capture more water. 


-Updates will continue as things change.


Thank You,

 San Diego Office, IBWC



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