During an inspection of the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) on July 25, the City of Nogales public works reported a partial breach of the IOI approximately 200 yards north of the intersection of Old Tucson Rd. and the Nogales Wash.
A dislodged section of cement that encases one of the manhole accesses to the IOI, partially sheared the pipe below the waterline causing discharge of untreated wastewater into the Nogales Wash. The location of the partial breach is in a sparsely populated area of the county.
Santa Cruz County Health Services is advising people who live in areas where there is water running in the wash and tributaries east of the Nogales Wash to keep out of those areas.
The Santa Cruz County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) has been activated to support the efforts of local authorities. Our number one priority is to ensure the health and safety of the people of Santa Cruz County and Arizona.
Samples of the water from the wash have been collected and submitted for testing and results are expected within the next 24 hours. We are closely monitoring for potential environmental and public health impacts.
The county is working diligently to prepare all paperwork in order to make a declaration of emergency upon final input from our stakeholders.
Santa Cruz County officials will be holding a press conference at 5:00 pm in Courtroom A on the second floor of the Santa Cruz County Complex located at 2150 N. Congress Dr. Nogales AZ 85621.
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