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
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 down wind of a large industrial scale
American dairy farm or cattle feed lot can be bad. Living down
wind of Tijuana can be worse because the dust is human and it
carries deseases that other humans can contract.