Maintenance expected to temporarily increase flow of Tijuana River

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A plastic bag ban in Tijuana is expected to reduce the amount of trash and debris that flows into the Tijuana River Valley.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Maintenance on an electrical substation along the Tijuana River will increase the river’s flow to the United States, the International Boundary and Water Commission announced Thursday.

The U.S. section of that commission sent out an alert that the Tijuana public utility will shut down that pump substation at 7 p.m. Thursday with service expected to resume 7 a.m. Friday.

During the outage, transboundary flow in the Tijuana River is expected to increase to a flow rate of up to 16 million gallons per day, or 700 liters per second.

Calls to the commission to determine the average transboundary flow were not returned.

The substation is part of a system that diverts flow from the Tijuana River into the Tijuana sewer system. Improvement of the electrical substation is part of a broader effort by Mexico to improve the performance of pump stations that divert water from the Tijuana River before it enters the U.S.

Other work in that effort includes installation of new pumps, construction of a new pump intake and a sedimentation tank to remove silt at Pump Station CILA. Once the work is completed later this year, it is expected to reduce the volume of transboundary river flow to San Diego County during the dry season by 70%.

Tijuana River flow during the dry season consists primarily of both treated and untreated wastewater.

The International Boundary and Water Commission is responsible for applying the boundary and water treaties between the two countries. The U.S. Section of the Commission operates and maintains the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Diego, which treats 25 million gallons per day of sewage from Tijuana that would otherwise flow through the Tijuana River into the U.S.

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