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The sewage problem continues to plague the City of Nogales

Posted at 10:26 PM, Oct 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 01:26:58-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The sewage problem continues to plague the City of Nogales.

The state is, once again, warning people to avoid contact with water that's flowing in from Mexico.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is warning people to avoid contact with water in the Nogales wash and Potrero Creek due to sewage from Mexico.

KGUN9 was in Nogales for several hours and it’s crew can attest that, occasionally, when the wind picked up, the smell of sewage was very apparent.

Something locals like Miguel Rangel, owner of Mike’s Auto Glass located across the wash, said isn’t surprising, but certainly something he said is unacceptable.

“We’re not getting the business we are supposed to. We do a good job. Just because it smells bad around here it feels bad customers won’t come back,” Rangel added.

Rangel has been working at his business for about 30 years and while he would not trade his business for the world, he says its location is driving customers away.

“Just the fact that you are by the wash right there makes people think twice,” Rangel told KGUN9.

His shop is also by a school.

“It’s not safe at all. I’m very concerned because there is a school down here that is right across the street from the wash, which is where it starts overflowing. So, I’m fearing for my kids too,” said Rangel.

However, this isn’t the first warning the department sends out. Back in January of 2019, the same warning was sent out, due to a pump failure in the wastewater treatment plant in Nogales, Sonora.

“It’s just one of those things. You get used to living in these bad conditions,” Rangel added.

The pump has since been fixed. Now an electrical connection issue is what is causing concern.

But locals say, enough is enough.

“It’s not fair at all and if our local state government can’t take care of it, probably something in the federal level,” said Rangel while telling KGUN9 he has been dealing with the stench, on and off, for the last 15 years,

The good news is that this will not affect drinking water.

At this time, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality recommends folks avoid all contact with water in these areas. This includes keeping pets away from them too.