San Diego State University professor Richard Gersberg was talking sewage this morning on KPBS’s These Days. It’s worth a listen for a good overview of the Mexican sewage pollution problem we’ve written about.

Gersberg, an environmental health professor, recently completed a study that demonstrated the connection between viruses in the water between the border and Imperial Beach and the bacterial indicators that health officials use to post no-swim advisories. If the indicators are there, so are viruses like hepatitis A, Gersberg found, confirming a widely held suspicion.

The good news: When it hasn’t rained, the viruses weren’t present, Gersberg told host Tom Fudge.

One interesting note: Gersberg estimates that 25 to 30 percent of Tijuana’s population doesn’t have sewer service. As many as 500,000 people may lack sewers in the city, he has estimated.

Our most recent Tijuana sewage-related story that examines the sewage runoff’s socio-economic impacts is here.


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