An engineer will give a presentation on the problematic Los Alisos Wastewater Treatment Plant in Nogales, Sonora, and discuss its current condition during a public meeting of the Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum of the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) next week in Nogales.

The meeting is set to run 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, at Nogales City Hall, 777 N. Grand Ave.

In January, Arizona environmental authorities announced that four of five pumps at the Los Alisos facility were malfunctioning due to excessive grit, sending raw sewage north of the border through the Nogales Wash. Repairs have slowly been implemented since then.

In addition to providing an update on the situation, José de Jesús Quintanar Guadarrama, agricultural engineer with the Mexican Section of the IBWC, will speak during the Sept. 12 meeting about the construction of Los Alisos, the operation of its sanitation collection system, the treatment process and plans to expand the plant.

Also during the meeting, Mark Brusseau, a professor of soil, water and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona, will speak about a specific class of contaminants of emerging concern called per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. These compounds have been found in groundwater, surface water, soil, treated wastewater, biosolids and drinking water in communities across the United States and many other countries, the USIBWC said.

Brusseau will discuss the basic properties of PFAS and explain why they are very persistent in the environment. He will also talk about the sources of PFAS, reported occurrences in Arizona, the potential health and environmental impacts, and the current regulatory status and methods of treatment.

The USIBWC established the Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum in 2003 to facilitate the exchange of information between the USIBWC and members of the public about commission projects and related activities in Southeast Arizona.

For more information about the meeting, call (520) 281-1832 or email

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