The San Diego County Board of Supervisors recently declared a public health crisis in the Tijuana River Valley (TRV) due to the sewage, trash, and chemicals that pollute our border area beaches and impact the health outcomes in the South San Diego County communities.

We support this declaration; however, Surfrider San Diego will continue to urge the County to declare a State of Emergency (SOE) in the TRV so that state and federal funding can be attained for a large-scale cleanup of the trash that will inevitably end up on our coasts. In order to declare this local emergency, the County requires findings of actual evidentiary support for imminent threat or extreme peril.

Clean Border Water Now (CBWN) and the Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) have joined forces to plan a four-week water quality sampling project in the TRV. CBWN believes that these tests and the subsequent results will provide the necessary evidence to support a SOE declaration.

CBWN recently administered the first round of tests at the following locations (map) which will be used throughout the test period:

  1. Effie May Pond / Tijuana River
  2. Duck Pond
  3. Goat Canyon Catch Basin
  4. Smuggler’s Gulch @ Monument Road
  5. Dairy Mart Road Bridge
(hover over the images below to see the site location)

Below you can see our five samples in varying shades of green.  Sadly, but not surprisingly, all of the results from our first round of testing came back exceedingly high (even during dry weather).  Please note that 24,196 is the maximum bacteria level that can be measured by the testing method. The bacteria concentration can be higher, but will be unknown.

Thank you to all of the volunteers that have signed on to help with this 4-week sampling study.  If you would like to get involved in future TRV and/or water quality testings, please make sure to sign up for the Blue Water Task Force and Clean Border Water Now mailing lists.