NewsLocal NewsSouth Bay News


Heavy rains results in mixture of sewage, rain and treated water flowing into Tijuana River

USIBWC says rain resulting in flow mostly from Mexico.
Tijuana River
Posted at 6:49 AM, Sep 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-10 09:49:06-04

TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY, Calif. (KGTV) - Tropical Storm Kay swept through San Diego and Mexico, resulting in millions of gallons of sewage to flow into the Tijuana River Friday.

It certainly was a wet day in the area known for its sunshine.

“I really like it. I like the weather because it’s completely different,” Gualberto Gaidan said.

“It was definitely needed,” Faustino Gaidan said.

That much need rain following that heat wave resulted in an all too familiar problem in the South Bay.

“So far, we’ve seen about 70 million gallons of flow. So, it’s probably reached the ocean by now,” Morgan Rogers, the Area Operations Manager for USIBWC San Diego Field Office, said.

Heavy rains in mostly from Mexico, resulting in millions of gallons of sewage, rain, and treated water to flow into the Tijuana River, according to Rogers.

The flows started at around 10 a.m. on Friday, eventually breaching the berm and holding it back.

“And the expectations is that is used during for dry weather flows which are very minimal," Rogers said. "When you have a rain event, it’s simply just the volume, and the flow rate is just too great. You don’t expect that sediment berm to hold.”

And it’s not just the South Bay feeling impacts of the rain.

The County’s Department of Environmental Health and Quality issued a General Rain Advisory for the coastal waters of San Diego County due to contamination by urban runoff. It’s warning those looking to swim, surf, or otherwise in the ocean that bacteria levels can rise significantly near areas that discharge the runoff.

The Department of Environmental Health and Quality says things like swimming, surfing, and diving should be avoided for 72 hours after rain.

As Tropical Storm Kay comes and goes from San Diego County, there’s a silver lining when it comes to the sewage in the water this time.

“At least this is Mother Nature acting. This is not an accident. This is something we really can’t stop. So, this is really out of our control, and it is the result of rain,” Roger said.