Repairs completed on Mexicali sewage spillage

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MEXICALI — After two broken pipes spilling raw sewage into the New River were discovered last month, officials from the state water quality control board have announced that those pipes are now repaired.

According to reports, a pipe broke in January spilling 1.73 gallons of raw sewage into the New River. In February, another pipe collapsed spilling 13 million gallons of sewage per day into the New River, equaling a combined total of almost 15 million gallons per day of raw sewage flowing into the New River.

According to Jose Angel, executive officer with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, both pipes have been repaired as of February 15.

“We provide notification about sewage spills (e.g., discharges of raw sewage from Mexico into the New River) to the County Health Officer, Department of Homeland Security (Border Patrol), and IID among other entities so they are aware about the spills and alert their personnel and/or public as necessary about its water quality condition,” said Angel. “We periodically communicate with the State Public Health Department (Border Office in San Diego) about New River water quality. The U.S. Section of the International Boundary, Water Commission, and USEPA also receive notifications from Mexico. We do not issue health warnings. That is up to health officials. The New River is posted in Calexico and I believe near Brawley as being a ‘hazard’ because of its water quality.”

“The discharge into the New River from Mexico was due to a 36-inch sewage pipe that broke in Mexicali,” continued Angel. “We are not aware of any additional spills into the New River.”

No public warnings or information from either state or local authorities concerning any increased hazard of the spills were issued during situation.