Protecting the Santa Cruz River

IBWC Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum September 21 at 5pm

International Boundary and Water Commission
United States Section

For immediate release
September 7, 2017

Aid for Rural Drinking Water Systems and Sanitation Concerns to be Discussed in September 21 Public Meeting in Tubac

The United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) has scheduled a public meeting of the Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum for Thursday, September 21 at 5:00 p.m. at the Tubac Community Center, 50 Bridge Road, Tubac, AZ. Agenda items will cover state legislation to help small rural drinking water systems and a timeline of events leading to the partial breach of a manhole in a Nogales, Arizona sewer pipeline. The purpose of the forum is to promote the exchange of information between the USIBWC and the community regarding Commission projects and related activities in Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz Counties.

Amanda Stone, Chief Policy and Legislative Affairs Officer, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), is presenting on the significant bill amendment to House Bill 2094 – Small Water Systems Fund. Ms. Stone will share ADEQ’s new statutory authority to help small rural drinking water systems return to compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements by providing another source of grant funding to implement system repairs and upgrades. There are approximately 50 small drinking water systems (serving 10,000 or fewer people) delivering water that contains contaminants at levels exceeding safe drinking water standards today in Arizona.

In other business, Sherry Sass, President, Friends of the Santa Cruz River (FOSCR), will present a video, Flirting with Disaster. The video is an encapsulated warning message distributed earlier this year regarding a sewer pipe, known as the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI), located in the Nogales Wash. The FOSCR is campaigning for a permanent fix to the IOI so the waters of the Wash do not become contaminated in the future.

Mr. Wayne Belzer, Environmental Engineer, USIBWC, will provide information on the partial breach of the IOI’s manhole 89 in the Nogales Wash. On July 25, 2017, the manhole became dislodged after heavy rainfall, resulting in a partial breach of the IOI and release of sewage into the Wash. A temporary bypass system has been installed to contain the sewage leak until a permanent repair is put in place. The bypass system, proposed solutions, and status of repairs will be discussed during the presentation.

In addition, Mr. Belzer will talk about future plans to repair the entire IOI. His presentation will include the history of the IOI, the planned use of Cast in Place Pipe (CIPP) technology, the status of the design that’s underway for the rehabilitation of the IOI, and projected completion of the design.

A complete agenda follows. Members of the public who would like more information about the meeting may call 520-281-1832 or email [email protected].
News Media Contact:

Lori Kuczmanski
[email protected]

Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum

Thursday, September 21, 2017
5:00 – 7:00 P.M.

Tubac Community Center
50 Bridge Road*
Tubac, AZ 85646

  • Welcome and Introductions – John Light, Area Operations Manager, USIBWC, and Citizens Forum Co-Chair
  • Small Water Systems Fund – Expansion of Authorized Uses (HB2094) –Amanda Stone, Chief Policy and Legislative Affairs Officer, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
  • Flirting with Disaster, video presentation – Sherry Sass, President, Friends of the Santa Cruz River
  • Update on Plans to Repair the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) Sewer Pipeline and Manhole in Nogales, Arizona – Wayne Belzer, Environmental Engineer, USIBWC
  • Public Comment
  • Board Discussion
  • Suggested Future Agenda Items

From Tucson, take I-19 South, take exit #40 toward Chavez Siding Road, turn left onto Chavez Siding Road, turn right onto I-19 Frontage Road, turn left onto Bridge Road, turn left at Crosby Road, destination is on the right.
If you have a disability that you wish to self-identify confidentially that requires accommodation, please advise us ahead of time.

For more information, call 520-281-1832 or email [email protected]

Lori Kuczmanski
Public Affairs Officer
International Boundary and Water Commission
Office: 915-832-4106
Cell: 915-494-6027
Fax: 915-209-8927
[email protected]

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Friends of the Santa Cruz River