August 2, 2017 / Modified aug 7, 2017 2:50 p.m.

Broken Sewage Pipe in Nogales Gets Temporary Fix

It will give inspectors a chance to locate the breach.

Nogales Wash Pipe
Nancy Montoya


An emergency bypass to a broken sewer line in Nogales is holding.  That will give inspectors a chance to send cameras down the pipeline to locate the breach.  

The break happened a week ago, and the sewage had been ultimately feeding into the Santa Cruz River. The temporary fix will give inspectors a chance to send cameras down the pipeline to locate the breach.

“What’s going to happen is that they are going to bypass all the sewage around this manhole to dry it up and then our contractor can go and look and see what the damage was – make those repairs as quickly as possible,” said John Light of the International Boundary and Water Commission.

Nogales and Santa Cruz County officials said they are petitioning the federal government to replace the entire nine-mile pipeline from the border to the Rio Rico Treatment Plant. The cost is estimated to be almost $40 million.

Grijalva at Pipeline VIEW LARGER Congressman Raul Grijalva Tours the area near a waste water pipeline break.
Nancy Montoya

Congressman Raúl Grijalva characterized the break as a “mess” and a “disaster.” "It has been a lifeline since time immemorial. It is a connector between us and Mexico. And it is a connector all the way to the Gila River. This source of groundwater for all the region cannot be jeopardized. That’s the biggest environmental threat that we have right now.”

Grijalva said the entire nine miles of old and ineffective pipeline from the border to the Rio Rico treatment plant must be replaced.The congressman said it is up to the federal government to fix it.

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