Early on Sunday morning, Naco, Arizona residents were advised that sewage from Mexico was pouring into town near the port of entry. Initially, residents were advised to prepare to evacuate the area if the flow from Mexico was not stopped “in a few hours.”
The leak is flowing west from Mexico onto private property on the American side of the border. Initially, the sewage was flowing towards Naco Elementary school, but now according to sources is being diverted to ranch land.
|Initial Cochise County Advisory|
Following a leak of raw sewage, near the Naco Point of Entry, nearby residents are being asked to prepare to leave their homes if the flow from Mexico is not stopped in the next few hours. The local area is defined as Naco Highway, Humfrey Drive, Friend Drive, and Domingez Street.
Residents should be prepared to leave for 24-48 hours. There is currently no immediate life threats. The leak occurred early this morning and is being responded to by Cochise County environmental health, AZ Dept. of Environmental Quality, Naco Fire Department, and Sonoran first responders.
Cochise County Highway crews built berms to prevent any overflow of pooled water.
The International Boundary & Water Commission, which is supposed to prevent leaks like this, is expected to help with mitigation.
A temporary solution to stem the flow of sewage from Mexico has failed.
Authorities are continuing to monitor the situation and mitigate the flow. Work is ongoing to contain and chlorinate the pooled sewage from the first flow. According to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, “The active flow is being treated with chlorine by County Environmental Health, who will continue to assess the situation.”
In the past, a Mexican sewage leak on ranch land was responsible for the deaths of nearly ten calves.
With school back in session, many children who attend Naco Elementary from the U.S and Mexico will also be at risk from the contaminated flow.
Naco Port of Entry from Mexico May 6, 2016
On school days, children come through the Naco Port of Entry from Mexico to attend Naco Elementary School and catch buses to schools further in the interior of the U.S. On Sunday, officials were concerned that the dangerous sewage was flowing along their path and toward homes in the small border town.