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$156M included in Congressional budget deal to address South Bay sewage problem

San Diego international sewage plant treatment facility
Posted at 12:16 PM, Mar 22, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The South Bay could be getting some big help to address the sewage problem.

The new budget deal in Congress includes $156 million to fix the rundown International Wastewater Treatment Plant. That's the facility on our side of the border that takes the sewage coming from Tijuana and cleans it up before it goes into the river valley and ocean.

We tracked down U.S. Senator Alex Padilla to get his perspective on the issue.

"This is not just a public health concern. It is not just a clean water concern. In many ways, this is a national security concern. We have Navy SEALs training in that region and getting sick as a result of the contaminated water," Padilla says.

Making the water safe for the Navy SEALs who train in the bay is a big part of the reason San Diego Congressman Scott Peters supports more funding from the House.

"It's great to have the money, but now we have to get it into the ground and keep it on schedule," Peters says. "It's a good position to be in, but our work is not done."

The budget deal passed in the House on Friday. It still needs to be approved in the Senate before receiving the president's signature to make it official.

Plant officials tell 10News they plan to hire a contractor for the project this summer.