SAN DIEGO — A broken sewer line in Tijuana, which has been spilling millions of sewage into the Tijuana River Basin, will come back online Monday, officials said.
U.S. and Mexico commissioners from the International Boundary and Water Commission traveled to the U.S -Mexico border to see the repairs on the sewer lines firsthand.
“I take it very much to heart, it’s that people want to see solutions,” said Dr. Maria-Elena Giner, U.S. commissioner. “They don’t want to see their beaches closed, I understand the public health issue.”
Giner says due to the steep canyon the sewer lines are on, only one can be fixed now while the other one will take more time.
The 48-inch pipeline will be fixed by Friday and back online on Monday. According to officials, once the sewer line is back, that will relieve the sewage and access flow from going to the Tijuana River Basin.
“The pipeline that you see there in black, that was literally split and hanging. Over the last ten days, they have been able to actually lay all of the pipe, shore up the slope and put in a concrete slur in there to stabilize it and – reminder it takes time to cure that – all in a matter of ten days,” Giner said.
Giner says she is coming up with several solutions with Mexican officials to pump cleaner water out of their wastewater plants and into the ocean.
“They did present to us some alternatives at San Antonio de Los Buenos, which is their main wastewater treatment plant,” the U.S. commissioner said.
The IBWC says there have been over 315 million gallons of sewage since the two sewer lines went offline.
The sewage that made its way into the ocean on Aug. 3, prompted South Bay beaches to close since then.
Giner says it unknown when the beaches affected will reopen.