News Briefs: U.S. and Mexico Agree to Fund New WWTPs Near Tijuana Border

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, 18 first responders recover the bodies of two construction workers who died in a manhole at a residential job site in Edwardsville, Illinois

The United States and Mexico recently signed a treaty to construct new wastewater treatment facilities near the international border to stop sewage spills into the Tijuana River. The spills have been an ongoing problem for years, and polluted water sometimes makes its way into the Pacific Ocean and causes beach closures.

The governments have agreed to fund projects that would double the capacity of the South bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant in the United States and build a new treatment plant in Tijuana. Combined, the plants would extend capacity by 43 mgd, according to the San Diego Tribune.

Two Construction Workers Die in Manhole in Illinois

Eighteen first responders were at the scene to recover the bodies of two construction workers who died in a manhole at a residential job site in Edwardsville, Illinois, Aug. 19.

The Madison County Coroner identified the deceased workers as Alton resident Cody Toenyes, 22, and Edwardsville resident Jack Pfund, 19.

The two men entered the manhole during the course of their work developing the neighborhood in the 100 block of East Union Street. The manhole was found to contain very little oxygen and a buildup of toxic fumes.

Reuse Projects Get $300 Million Boost From Feds

Following a tour of the Syphon Reservoir Improvement Project at the Irvine (California) Ranch Water District, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton announced the allocation of $309.8 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $1 million in appropriated funding for the planning, design and construction of water reuse projects across the country. 

The selected projects will advance drought resilience and are expected to increase annual capacity by about 213,000 acre-feet of water, enough water to support more than 850,000 people a year.

The announcement caps a two-day swing through central and southern California to highlight how investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help address the worsening drought crisis and expand access to clean drinking water for families, farmers and wildlife.


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