Nov 27, 2013

Toxic waste from Mexico flooding into Arizona sparks a new border war

NOGALES, Ariz.--- Toxic water flowing from Mexico into the United States is the cause of a different kind of border war.

By the laws of nature, and international treaty, water flows north from Nogales, Sonora, into Nogales, Arizona.  

Rain water carries toxins from Mexican sewage and also industrial waste. Roughly 80 factories south of the border produce clothing, metals, plastics, and more. Waste from those plants seeps into the environment, and rains bring it to Arizona.

A sewer system and wash are designed to bring the wastewater to a treatment facility near Nogales.  The treated water is released into the Santa Cruz River, which can flow as far north as Pinal County.  

The system is old, and falling apart. The concrete wash walls are crumbling, as are the underground pipes. Strong storms overwhelm the system, and untreated pollutants from Mexico flood into Arizona.

"It'll affect every well from here to Casa Grande," warns Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino. He's been sounding the alarm about the issue for years.