The US accused Mexico of deliberately dumping a "tsunami of sewage"
An investigation has been launched after a massive sewage spill from Mexico's Tijuana River polluted miles of coastland in Southern California and Northern Mexico.
US officials have branded the incident “deliberate” with Mexican authorities blaming heavy rain after 143 million gallons of sewage were dumped into the Pacific Ocean.
The pollution closed beaches and kept surfers and swimmers out of the ocean, infuriating residents of the cross-border region.
It was intentional
Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina
US officials accused Mexican authorities of deliberately cutting corners during repair work on a sewer pipeline in Mexico.
California Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina said Mexico had sent a "tsunami of sewage spills”.
Mr Dedina said: "It was intentional. The big picture is we need to work to support Mexico's effort to improve the sewage infrastructure system in Tijuana so this doesn't happen again."
Surfers and swimmers were warned to stay out of the ocean
A spokeswoman at the Tijuana State Public Service Commission said the spill was an accident that resulted from heavy rains collapsing a sewage interceptor in the city.
She added the International Boundary and Water Commission, a joint US-Mexico agency, was notified on February 23.
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But US official from the Commission claim the spill started at least two weeks earlier polluting 20 miles of coastline.
California Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina said Mexico had sent a "tsunami of sewage spills”
Us-Mexico tensions have escalated after Donald Trump vowed to build a border wall
Contact with raw sewage can cause serious infections and illnesses such as diarrhoea.
US Representatives Juan Vargas and Scott Peters, who represent the San Diego area, have written to the US Secretary of State and the director of the Environmental Protection Agency calling for federal actions to prevent another incident.
Tijuana authorities say they could declare a state of emergency in order to repair the sewage system.
The row comes amid heightened tensions between Mexico and the US with President Donald Trump vowing to build a border wall.
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