News center
We offer unbeatable prices without sacrificing quality.

Thousands of gallons of sewage spills in Imperial Beach after pump station fails

Aug 02, 2023

Next up in 5

Example video title will go here for this video

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — The Mayor of Imperial Beach is calling on California Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency to help prevent further sewage pollution from Mexico.

On Monday, a pump station failed and spilled about 20,000 gallons of sewage in Imperial Beach, according to the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission. It happened at the Hollister Street pump station which is a few hundred feet from equestrian centers and where you'll find families spending time outside.

"There's always things happening in the South Bay. The smells, Imperial Beach the sewer problem we have," said Francisco Arellano.

Arellano has lived in the South Bay all his life. He's hoping more will be done to prevent future issues.

"This wouldn't be happening in La Jolla. I bet they'd be doing something about it but we have the problems here," he said.

Sewage runoff has caused the south side of Imperial Beach to be closed more than 600 days in a row.

"The sewage is everywhere and I cannot emphasize that enough," said Imperial Beach Mayor Paloma Aguirre.

Aguirre says overall, more than $400 million is needed to repair and replace the infrastructure and prevent further sewage pollution from Mexico. She's calling on Newsom to take action.

"We're in a state of emergency. It's in our air, coastal water and parks. Where that pump station broke is at the entrance of Border Field State Park. That's a state park. We need our state governor to declare a state of emergency," Aguirre said.

She says the spills can contain industrial or chemical runoff because Tijuana uses a combined stormwater and sewage system.

"I've heard people in my community say they're enraged and rightly so. The frustration is sometimes overwhelming. Every day I tweet at the governor, sending emails, letters," she said.

The failed pumps at Hollister Street pump station will be repaired or replaced but there's not a timeline for when that might happen.

WATCH RELATED: Imperial Beach lobbies to save local post office branch