The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District is seeking approval and funding to provide technical and direct flood fight assistance to Nogales, Arizona, under the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act.
The proposed work would fill and armor approximately 280 feet of the exposed International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) in the Nogales Wash between Calle Sonora and Old Tucson Road that eroded from monsoon rains July 23-24. It is asked that the public refrain from entering this area to allow agencies representatives to conduct their surveys and for the safety of the employees working in the area.
The Nogales International Airport has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for a one nautical mile around the worksite. Officials have requested that drone use be restricted in the areas crews are working.
The site survey conducted along the IOI to assess any changes to the condition of the wash after last night’s storms was completed. There was no significant impact to the previous condition of the partial breach to the IOI.
Santa Cruz County received results from water sample testing from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Samples taken yesterday found levels of E. coli bacteria and nutrients that exceeded recommended levels, both below and above the partial breach. Testing is ongoing by ADEQ and results will be provided on a regular basis.
Santa Cruz County Health Services and the Arizona Department of Health Services are advising the public to stay out of the Nogales Wash and the Santa Cruz River. Even in the absence of untreated wastewater, stormflows are typically high in pollutants that can be harmful to human health such as bacteria and pathogens. Water near and downstream of the IOI partial breach is of particular concern and should be avoided.
Santa Cruz County Health Services is recommending to those who live within the county, along the Santa Cruz River, and have a private well within 100 ft. of the waterway have their wells tested for contamination.
The Department of Agriculture shares the concerns of livestock owners and farmers in the region. Until there is more information about the extent of the situation, it is recommend not using water from the Santa Cruz River to water food crops or gardens. Livestock should not be in the river or drinking from it.
Santa Cruz County officials will be holding a brief press conference at 9:00 am to provide an operation update in Courtroom A on the second floor of the Santa Cruz County Complex located at 2150 N. Congress Dr. Nogales AZ 85621. Be advised to enter the County Complex through the main doors in front of the building.
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