The United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) is investigating a leak from the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) and is participating in the repair of leak. The leakage has been identified as occurring at manhole 89 which is approximately seven miles from the International Boundary. The IOI conveys the City of Nogales, Arizona’s sewage along with Mexican sewage to the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant in Rio Rico, Arizona.
USIBWC has contracted KE&G Construction, from Tucson, Arizona, for $300,000, to perform emergency repairs to the international sewer pipe. The emergency repairs will include, but not be limited to, first building a cofferdam, which is a watertight enclosure pumped dry to permit the construction below the waterline to be followed by an inspection of the sewer pipe to determine what repairs are needed and then they are to perform the necessary repairs.
Additionally, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has been deployed to assist with the rebuilding of the slopes along the Nogales Wash that have failed. A section of the Nogales Wash was severely eroded, exposing another portion of the IOI located approximately two miles from the international boundary between manholes 41 and 42. The eroded bank occurred in an unlined portion of the Nogales Wash. The USACE is currently assessing the situation and will determine the scope of work that is needed.
“We are working with a team of local, state and federal agencies to address the leakage from the international wastewater pipeline, said U.S. Commissioner Edward Drusina. “The team will make any needed repairs and do what is necessary to protect the community.”
A hotline has been established for public and media inquiries between 7am and 7pm by calling 520-375-7784. Updates will also be posted on the County Facebook page, Santa Cruz County, Arizona and Twitter page @santacruzaz and the county website at www.santacruzcountyaz.gov.
The International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, is responsible for applying the boundary and water treaties between the two countries. The USIBWC operates and maintains the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant.