Representative Grijalva tours area of sewage break, leak - Tucson News Now

Representative Grijalva tours area of sewage break, leak

Raul Grijalva (Source: Tucson News Now) Raul Grijalva (Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Nogales Mayor John Doyle, Santa Cruz County Supervisor Bruce Bracker and State Representative Rosanna Gabaldon met with U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva at Nogales City Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 1, to discuss the break in a sewage pipeline and the work that is being done to fix it.  

Seeing the work up close, Grijalva said it's a good thing monsoon storms haven't made this any worse.

"The public health danger, the environmental danger, the security danger would be unbelievable. And we've been very fortunate," Grijalva said. 

This is a partial breach - everyone here agrees a complete break, shooting out millions of gallons of sewage a day, would be a disaster. It's why Gabaldon shared her worries for years with any other state lawmaker who would listen.

"It's unfortunate that something like this had to happen for it to bring attention to maintenance," Gabaldon said. 

That maintenance includes strengthening the banks in several spots and eventually fixing the breach itself. It is a problem that Grijalva says has been kicked down the road long enough and it's time for the feds to step up.

"Every year we ask the same thing, so for once we have an opportunity here for the federal government through the Army Corps and other agencies to come in and do a permanent fix and not just a patch up," Grijalva said. 

Everyone seems to agree that a permanent solution for the International Outfall Interceptor needs to happen, but so far no concrete plans are set. 

The focus for cleanup right now is rerouting the flow. Once all the pipes are locked into place - the sewage can bypass the breach and stop spilling into the wash.

Crews work on the break when the weather is clear, but city leaders say there is no good timeline for stopping the spill yet because of Mother Nature. 

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