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E. coli found in broken pipe breach testing in Santa Cruz County

Posted at 4:30 PM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 08:26:28-04

The test results from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality indicate E. coli bacteria that exceeded recommended levels at the partial pipe breach in Santa Cruz County.

According to the media release, further sampling is being conducted with results still pending. The ADEQ is testing for other contaminants including a variety of metals, such as Cadmium, Chromium, Zinc, Copper, and Nickel.

Officials in Santa Cruz County are advising the public to stay out of the Nogales Wash and the Santa Cruz River.

As for a timetable, officials are still trying to pinpoint how to fix the mess.

"All options are being looked at, we have different engineers, we have different partners looking at this to try to figure out the best course of action to mitigate," Santa Cruz County Health Services Director Jeff Terrell said. "With the storms not being active, we're trying to work as fast as we can to get to the solution."

Santa Cruz County Health Services is recommending those who own a private well within 100 ft. of the waterway to have their well tested for contamination.

The Department of Agriculture shares the concerns of livestock owners and farmers in the region. Until there is more information about the extent of the situation, it is recommended not using water from the Santa Cruz River to water food crops or gardens. Livestock should not be in the river or drinking from it.

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency in Santa Cruz County Thursday over flooding from the Nogales, Ariz. sewer.

During an inspection, a dislodged section of cement that encases one of the manhole accesses was discovered. The break is reported approximately 200 yards north of the intersection of Old Tucson Rd. and the Nogales Wash.

A hotline has been established for public inquiries at (520) 375-7784.

KGUN9's Priscilla Casper will have much more on this story coming up at 5 and 6 p.m.