Preventing spies from secretly entering the United States….

Did you know?

Yesterday I did a home inspection in San Ysidro. It’s pretty close to the most southwestern point in the continental United States:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The most southwestern point, though, is not a city. It’s a park, the Border Field State Park:

Border Field State Park in San Diego County, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

See that doohickey behind the sign, though, the one with the circular thingy on the top?

What do you suppose that is?

I thought it was a fence, but when I examined it closer, turns out it’s not a fence at all.

It’s an “Ocean Outfall Anti-Intrusion Structure”:

img_1342 ocean outfall anti-intrusion structure

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m pretty sure that whatever was within the fenced area was the ocean outfall anti-intrusion structure. But just WHAT IS an ocean outfall anti-intrusion structure? A-ha! (not the group). I’m glad you asked.

Margaritas at On The Border in El Cajon, CaliforniaAn ocean outfall is a sewer pipe that terminates in the ocean. (Yuk! I’m never going in the ocean again!)

I do know that the ocean outfall sewer pipe was built in 1998 and cost a whopping $131 million. (That would cover the cost of 32,750,000 happy hour margaritas at On The Border! ►)

Actually, the outfall is sewage that has been treated at the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In other words, the United States built a wastewater treatment plant to treat raw sewage flowing from Tijuana (that’s in Mexico!) into the United States via the Tijuana River.

The Tijuana River is 120 miles long, but only 115 miles is in Mexico. The final five miles are in San Diego County, running through the Tijuana River Estuary and Border Field State Park.

I found a map that shows exactly what is going on here:

Ocean outfall map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tijuana used to dump a great majority of their raw sewage into the Tijuana River, but the map above shows the San Antonio de los Buenos Treatment Plant, the Tijuana Wastewater Canal, and Pump Station No. 1 with an arrow pointing to the International Wastewater Treatment Plant in the United States. So now, instead of dumping all that sewage into the river, it gets treated and pumped to the United States for further treatment, after which it is dumped into the Pacific Ocean four miles offshore. Oh, the complicated things we do to get rid of our poop….

Here’s what the Tijuana River used to look like at the time I arrived in San Diego in April 1993:

Tijuana River

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That was on the Mexico side of the border, but you can imagine the crap (pun intended) that was flowing in the river to the United States side.

And warning signs were everywhere on the beaches near the mouth of the Tijuana River:

Pollution warning sign

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Okay, so we know what an ocean outfall is, but what about the anti-intrusion structure part of it? What’s going through my mind is spies in their diving suits four miles out there in the Pacific Ocean finding the termination point of the ocean outfall pipe and swimming four miles through the pipe to eventually wind up on land…. AND IN THE UNITED STATES! How terrible would that be, to have sewage-covered spies arriving secretly in the United States! The anti-intrusion structure prevents those dastardly spies from getting into the United States! Oh, my mind is just full of visuals from B-grade spy movies of the ’60s….

A second thought is that there is some sort of one-way valve behind the fence that prevents ocean water from intruding through the pipe and into the wastewater treatment plant. The fence prevents someone from tampering with the valve. Hmmm. That actually seems plausible….

But I like my spy movie better….

Sadly, Google and Wikipedia are providing absolutely no help here, so I’m going with spies….

Spy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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20 thoughts on “Preventing spies from secretly entering the United States….

  1. draliman

    Here’s where I show my ignorance – I didn’t realise California shared a border with Mexico 🙂 I always though Mexico was further east.
    I did, however, have some vague notion that California used to be Mexican/Spanish or vice versa (thanks, “Zorro”) so I suppose I should have put two and two together.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Oh, yeah. Tijuana (or “TJ” as we call it) shares a border with San Diego. TJ has 1.3 million people as does San Diego. 2.6 million people in the two cities. Sadly, the two rarely work together because of political and patriotic issues.

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  2. The Emu

    Great interesting story with pictures to back up the truth, it’s all complicated and various scenarios come to mind, you would think that if Mexico and American poop can unite together and become friends, then the residents could become friends, united in a common cause.
    But then again, maybe not, but that’s life, shit happens.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Especially since Tijuana (or “TJ” as we call it) and San Diego both have a population of 1.3 million each. 2.6 million people could be a force to reckon with. Sadly, the two cities rarely work together because of political and patriotic issues.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I can’t decide which Bond film you’re thinking of since I can think of two of them here: “Live and Let Die” (title them by Paul McCartney) and “The Spy Who Loved Me.” In keeping with the spy theme here, I’m going to go with “The Spy Who Loved Me”…………LOL

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  3. operasmorg

    Hehehehe, and this somehow reminds me of the escape scene from the Shawshank Redemption. I’ve always wondered how Andy had crawled his way out of jail thru the sewage line and made it into the bank a few hours later without anyone noticing the odor. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. wordsfromanneli

    OMG! What a post! Well, I’m much better informed now, but what I find really disturbing (besides the guy going to do some body boarding or surfing or whatever) is the photo of all that plastic. And that’s just in one small place. Where is all the rest of that plastic all along the coast of Mexico? Our oceans are becoming a real garbage dump of things that don’t break down. Good post Russell, but the truth you’ve shown us is so awful.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. David

    The wetsuit guy, must be a sewer cop. You would certainly need that kind of suit swimming close to a sewer outlet pipe. As for the what-is-it piece, it’s not from an Edsel – they had V-8 engines. Pacer – may be, but I don’t anyone who bought one. Mustang II or Pinto – they shared the same parts list, so you can guess either and still be right. I’d go for a Pacer. May be someone bought it at a SD dealer and promptly drove it into the ocean. My other reason – I still own my Pinto, still in running condition and beats most late model cars in terms of emissions.

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      1. David

        There are so few Pintos that proved to be reliable. When I take mine out for a short drive, other drivers (mostly older ones) like seeing it on the road.

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