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SAN DIEGO — There is heated debate in the South Bay over what some are calling a “sewage pond.”

Residents are concerned a proposed project aimed at tackling the pollution problem in the Tijuana River Valley will ultimately negatively affect them.

Emotions rang high at Monday night’s San Ysidro Community Planning Group meeting. Some residents voiced they are not happy to hear about a proposal to build what they have dubbed a “sewage pond” near their homes.

San Diego’s Surfrider Foundation is proposing a sediment basin to be built off Dairy Mart Road near the International Wastewater Treatment Plant. The organization explained after rainfall the basin would hold sewage contaminated water that spills over from Mexico for a short amount of time so it could then be filtered and treated before being released.

It’s a solution to help clear up what Surfrider San Diego said is already a sewage pond.

“As of now it’s sitting there. It’s drying. People are running through it when they’re trying to cross the border, meaning Border Patrol agents have to run through it,” said Bethany Case with Surfrider San Diego.

Although the proposal is in its very early stages, residents are visibly upset they were not informed about the idea earlier.

“There [are] many concerns as to mosquitos, foul odor, property devaluation,” said resident Alfred Miranda.

Leaders with Surfrider said they were waiting until they had a more concrete proposal together before holding a public meeting. But they say after hearing this feedback they will make sure to include residents from here on out.

For more information about the proposal, contact Gabriela Torres at