Historic Border Patrol Badge Artifact

Southern Barrier, Part 7

The San Ysidro Port of Entry is one of the busiest border crossings in the world.

It can take five hours to cross the border from Mexico to the United States.

Waiting in line to cross the border north or south can give you far more of Mexico than you might have planned.

The city of Tijuana fills the Tijuana river valley from edge to edge. Only a little more than half of the population is connected to the sewer system or to potable water. While Americans may complain when their water pressure drops below 60 psi, in Tijuana much of the system operates at 15 psi or lower. Since many people cannot afford to pay for fresh water they dig tunnels under the street and make their own connections to the water mains. Possibly 30% of Tijuana’s potable water is lost through illegal taps on these water mains or through poorly made taps which leak the fresh water into the ground.

Because so much of the city is not connected to a sewage system, sewage leaks from out houses and out through the canyon walls and then spills down the canyon sides. Other residents empty their out houses by dumping the solid matter down the canyon sides. Just as with massive American dairy farms, the fecal material and urine eventually dry and then are picked up by the wind and the city’s air is tainted by flurries of dried fecal dust and dried urine dust. Living downwind of a large industrial scale American dairy farm or cattle feed lot can be bad. Living downwind of Tijuana can be worse because the dust is human and it carries deseases that other humans can contract.

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