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Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant

Creative solutions for less than 50% the cost of other similar sized facilities

Rio Rico, Arizona

With the completion of the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant, the impact upon the community was immediate. Many fish species have returned to the Santa Cruz River, where aquatic life was negatively affected by the existing plant’s discharge, and local citizen and environmental groups complimented the city on the effluent quality and significant improvement in the river's health.

The original facility, which receives 70 percent of its flow and load from Mexico, was unable to meet effluent permit limits, and a lawsuit was filed in 2000. The city and International Boundary and Water Commission tried several times over 10 years to construct a new plant, but bid prices consistently exceeded the budget, which was very limited given the requirement to construct a 14.74 millions of gallons per day facility for less than five dollars per gallon when capacity of that size typically costs $10 per gallon.

The project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule despite an owner initiated change order increasing the plant’s capacity. The project went so well that we were able to add sludge stabilization facilities and UV upgrades, with more than $1 million in annual operations and maintenance savings.

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