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Nogales at the forefront with the opening of Los Alisos Wastewater Treatment Plant

Posted on September 14, 2012

Nogales at the forefront with the opening of Los Alisos Wastewater Treatment Plant

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on August 30th in Nogales, Sonora, to inaugurate a US $17 million wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) that is part of the “Los Alisos” Wastewater Treatment and Conveyance Project.

This plant will initially have capacity to treat 220 liters per second (lps) and will receive wastewater flows from approximately 20,300 existing sewer hookups.

BECC's General Manager at Opening CeremonyIn a ceremony presided over by Sonora Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías and attended, among others, by Nogales Mayor José Angel Hernández Barajas; César Bleizeffer Vega, General Manager of the Northeast Region of Mexico’s National Water Commission (CONAGUA); Francisco Gastelum, Director General of the Nogales Water Utility (OOMAPAS); Maria Elena Giner, General Manager of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC); Alex Hinojosa, Deputy Managing Director of the North American Development Bank (NADB), and Nogales Mayor-elect Ramón Guzmán, this important project was launched at the new facility located south of Nogales.

For OOMAPAS Director Francisco Octavio Gastelum, the opening of this facility “comes to balance the basin from which water has been withdrawn during the last 15 years for the use of Nogales residents. This project makes history in Nogales in the wastewater treatment process and there is no turning back,” he said. It is a facility that initially will treat 220 lps, and “everything is ready to add another 120 lps.” He also thanked the federal, state, and international agencies involved in the project, as well as the companies responsible for compliance with SEMARNAT Standard 003, which is one of the highest standards in terms of effluent quality.

In her heartfelt and passionate participation, the BECC General Manager said “Nogales will be a pioneering city,” when announcing that the facility will be outfitted with solar panels that supply 100% of the required electricity, so it will be “the first of its kind in Mexico and Latin America.” She congratulated Nogales for investing money, love, technology, and wisdom in this project. “We know the future is going well. BECC is committed to continue working for Sonora, and this plant is an example of sustainability that we applaud and recognize; we are partners in improving the environment,” she said.

Nogales Mayor speaks of the support needed to complete the project.In his remarks, Nogales Mayor José Ángel Hernández Barajas said that this infrastructure will help connect more than 10,000 households to the sewage system. He underscored that this project “is for the people of Nogales, so they can feel proud that there are good governments, and as you said, Nogales is shaping up to be one of the best in the country, the best in the border, and a dignified city,” he said.

Guillermo Padres Elias - Sonora GovernorToward the end of his remarks, Governor Guillermo Padrés said: “I am proud and happy to see this project completed and becoming a reality. This wastewater treatment plant, as Maria Elena Giner rightly said, was a dream, it was something that looked very far away and seemed impossible, but when important decisions are made by a government and ‘cannot’ becomes ‘can do,’ great thing are achieved.” The plant “will help inject more water to the local system,” he said. “Ever since I remember, when I knocked on doors, the appeal was always for water, sewage, and especially a treatment plant to recycle the water we use and inject it back to the aquifers. You know, wastewater is sent to the United States to be treated there and we pay for it, but it came a time when they were overwhelmed and did not allow it anymore.” It so happened that this “hampered growth and the water system.” He said that without a doubt this solar powered facility, which is one of the most modern of its type, will transform the life of this beautiful city.

During an interview, Mayor-elect Ramon Guzman said that the opening of the “Los Alisos” treatment plant is a major project, as it speaks of the development of the community. He pledged “to follow up on the project and seek to always improve the conditions of the city, as is the case with this facility.”

Roberto Molina, Director of Infrastructure and Planning with the State Water Commission, said in an interview that the quality of treated wastewater is such that it can be employed for human uses, except drinking. In other words, it can be injected into the surface and used for irrigation, thanks to the technological components that produce water of excellent quality.

The General Manager reported that the “Los Alisos” treatment plant will also have an on-site photovoltaic solar plant with an installed capacity of 902 kW that will interconnect to the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission grid through an existing distribution line, to supply all the electricity needs of the plant.




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