News Briefs: Upgrades Planned for Tijuana River Infrastructure Near U.S.-Mexico Border

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is recognizing 311 wastewater treatment facilities across the state for outstanding permit compliance

As a result of efforts by the Mexican government’s interagency work group, the Mexican Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico (IBWC) has received 83.982 million pesos (about 3.6 million U.S. dollars) from Mexico’s National Water Commission (Conagua) to rehabilitate Pump Station CILA in Tijuana, Baja California. These resources represent the first payments from the plan announced by the Mexican government last October to address the problem of transboundary wastewater spills in the Tijuana River.

These actions are expected to bring about substantive improvements in the quality of life of residents of the border communities of Imperial Beach, California, and Tijuana, Baja California. Once this work is completed later this year, it is expected to reduce the volume of transboundary river flow to San Diego County, California, during the dry season by 70%. Tijuana River flow during the dry season consists primarily of treated and untreated wastewater so this reduction will benefit public health on both sides of the border.

Minnesota Agency Recognizes 311 WWTPs for Outstanding Compliance

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is recognizing 311 wastewater treatment facilities across Minnesota for outstanding permit compliance. To receive this recognition, facilities were required to demonstrate consistent compliance with monitoring, operations and maintenance requirements, submit all reports to the MPCA correctly and on time and employ staff certified by the MPCA in wastewater operations.

“The MPCA appreciates the considerable efforts by permittees and operators to protect and preserve water quality,” says Joe Braun, an environmental specialist with the Industrial Wastewater/Stormwater Compliance and Enforcement Unit at MPCA. “It is this kind of difficult work that has enabled Minnesota to significantly reduce pollution coming from point sources like sewage treatment facilities.”

Minnesota has approximately 1,600 municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities. Community, institution or treatment plant size were not factors in awarding the certificates.

Maryland Utility Manufacturing Face Shields for Public During Pandemic

WSSC Water out of Maryland is reportedly partnering with a Baltimore-based company called We The Builders to construct and supply thousands of face shields for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The utility is using an industrial grade 3D printer, which it purchased back in February, to help in the fight against the virus. So far, they’ve distributed more than 3,000 face shields, according to WJLA News.

Bureau of Reclamation Announces Title XVI Projects

The Bureau of Reclamation is providing $16.6 million to nine congressionally authorized Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse projects. This funding, part of the WaterSMART Program, is for the planning, design and construction of water recycling and reuse projects in partnership with local government entities.

“Title XVI projects develop and supplement urban and irrigation water supplies by reclaiming and reusing water,” says Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “These projects assist communities with new sources of clean water, which increases water management flexibility and makes water supply more reliable.”

For a full list of the projects and their descriptions, click here.


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