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Rio Grande City Wastewater Collection Improvements Project

Posted on September 30, 2011

Rio Grande City Wastewater Collection Improvements Project

Approximately 111 residents of Water Street subdivision in Rio Grande City, Texas will receive first-time wastewater collection due to a $448,552 Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF) grant recently granted by the Board of Directors of the North American Development Bank (NADB) and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by the Bank.

The project entails installing connections for 27 households and decommissioning failing septic tanks. As a result, an estimated 11,000 gallons a day or .481 lps (liters per second) a day of wastewater will be collected, improving the quality of life for residents who have lacked wastewater collection services.

Juan Zuñiga, Rio Grande City Manager“We are very happy to see this project come through, especially during a time when revenue isn’t coming through as anticipated - BECC was our last hope for converting our sewer system,” remarked Juan Zuniga, City Manager. “At first the residents didn’t believe it was going to happen, but they were very responsive to requests when having to work on the project. Now they are very happy that the project is underway and will have clean water.”

Due to the proximity of Rio Grande City to various communities in Starr County and nearby border city Camargo, Tamaulipas in Mexico, there are frequent border crossings between them. The construction of wastewater collection lines in currently un-served areas will have a direct positive impact on the health of residents of the entire region, since these actions will reduce the risk for waterborne diseases caused by inappropriate wastewater management practices. “The water from the (Rio Grande) river crept into the septic sewer system. This was a small project, but a huge success,” Zuniga said. The project's implementation will reduce the potential for contamination of shared water bodies such as Rio Grande River.

Carlos Acevedo, BECC Project EngineerIn addition to grants for project construction, the project also received a $326,978 technical assistance grant from BECC through its EPA-funded Project Development Assistance Program (PDAP) and used toward the facility plan, environmental studies, public participation and final design. “We just want to thank the BECC for their work and assistance over the many years working with this project,” said Zuniga. BECC project engineer, Carlos Acevedo echoed Zuniga’s sentiments, “After years of working with this community, we’re pleased with the outcomes and happy for their residents.”

Anticipated construction is set to begin in October 2011 and completed in 10 months.




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