From: Associated Press
Published March 19, 2007 12:00 AM

Mexico Inaugurates Mexican Sewage Treatment Plant to Avoid Cross-Border Pollution

MEXICO CITY -- A waste water treatment plant that Mexican officials say will help prevent pollution of U.S. waterways was inaugurated Saturday in the city of Mexicali, across the border from Calexico, California.

The Arenitas plant will treat waste water and discharge it into the Hardy River, a tributary of the Colorado River in Mexico, rather than dumping it untreated into waterways that run into California's Salton Sea, Mexico's National Water Commission said in a press statement.

"This will stem negative impacts on the environment and the health of residents in the eastern sector of Mexicali, and ensure compliance with bilateral environmental agreements with the United States," the statement said.

Construction on the US$30.5 million (euro23 million) plant began in 1999 and the first stage was finished in January. A second project "foreseen in the medium term" would double the plant's capacity, according to the statement.

The project was funded in part by the North American Development Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and the Mexican government.

While environmentalists say more water is needed to support wetlands and former wetlands in the Colorado River delta, the statement said treated water from the plant could be used for industry or farming.

Source: Associated Press

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