California beaches were shut down as a tsunami of raw waste leaked from Mexico into the Pacific Ocean. Many believe that the raw sewage spill was on purpose, and the United States believes that Mexico’s Tijuana River was to blame.
Federal authorities are investigating the massive spill, says the Daily Mail, and United States officials estimated that 143 million gallons of sewage were leaked across the border on purpose. Mexican authorities, however, claim that the leak was due to torrential rains and was nothing more than an accident.
About the Spill
The spill was discovered in early February along San Diego’s most prominent beaches. The spill ran from San Diego through Tijuana, per the International Boundary and Water Commission. The joint government agency is responsible for monitoring water treaties between the United States and Mexico.
The agency agreed to an investigation after receiving sewage reports that the Tijuana River was affected as well as the coastal waters at Imperial Beach in California.
It is the worst spill that California has seen in more than ten years, reports CNN. There were millions of gallons of raw sewage expelled into the water, which closed beaches from California into Mexico.
The ocean shoreline running from Silver Strand to the border will remain closed, but Coronado Beach plans to reopen.
Water quality experts believe that a sewer line from Tijuana was closed for repairs, which sent millions of gallons of raw sewage to the Tijuana River. The Tijuana River flows into the United States from San Ysidro. The pollution closed beaches, but residents were not told of the leak until weeks after the fact.
The raw sewage ran for a total of 18 days and did not stop until February 23. The public finally learned about the raw sewage on February 24th.
United States officials, including the Mayor of Imperial Beach, all claim that the spill was a deliberate act from Mexico.
Tensions Rise Between the United States and Mexico
The animosity between the United States and Mexico has been escalating, especially after the election of Donald Trump, who vowed to build a wall and keep the criminals out of the country from Mexico. Donald Trump promises to build his wall still, and while the White House has not made any official statement, the high tensions between both countries have stirred rumors of conspiracy.
Mexico’s Call for Help or Intentional Act?
Others believe that it was not intentional in the way that many feel it was. Instead of being an act against Donald Trump’s claims of building a wall, some believe it was an intentional call for help from the country. Mexico has long been plagued with a poor sewage infrastructure system, and many of their systems in place are severely outdated.
Regardless of the reasons behind the spill, the sewage has devastated the coastal regions, harmed the economy, and businesses that depend on beach traveler revenue were disrupted.
For now, residents of Imperial Beach are angry and have spoken publicly about how they are fed up with the problems from Mexico, including the smell of raw sewage that fouls the beaches.