Santa Cruz River

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and local officials confirmed an intermittent sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) in a tunnel under the international border, which transports stormwater from Nogales, Sonora to Nogales, Arizona. A SSO is a release of untreated wastewater and contains raw sewage.  

When flowing, the SSO originates from Nogales, Sonora and is exiting the tunnel into the Nogales Wash about one mile north of the international border. Depending on volume of flow and frequency, the SSO could reach the Santa Cruz River.

In cooperation with Santa Cruz County and the Arizona Department of Health Services, Pinal County Officials have issued a warning to those individuals living near the Santa Cruz River to beware of E. coli bacteria that could be in the water. Arizona Department of Environmental Quality have found that samples taken near the partial breach of an untreated sewage line in Nogales, Arizona, contain levels of E. coli bacteria that exceed recommended levels.  The partial breach was detected on July 25, 2017 and the flow runs into the Santa Cruz River.

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