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Nogales looks to replace water main, residents say it’s not soon enough

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 6:17 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Another water main break, adding to a list of times neighbors on Royal Road in Nogales have been without water during hot days.

Gracy Mariscal, who lives off Royal Road, said just a week ago, the water main outside her yard broke.

“Water was gushing down from in front of my house into the neighbor’s yard,” Mariscal said.

The city said the area has frequent issues with the water main due to its age. They have been slowly making repairs as each beak happens, but finally have funding to fix the entire line, along with the sublines.

“It’s an older water main that needs replacement. We have constant problems out there, leaks, and we recognize that, and we want to get it replaced,” said acting city manager John Kissinger.

Some neighbors are not bothered by the frequent outages, but it’s something Mariscal is concerned about. She said she had to go hours at a time without water to wash, drink or cool down her house. She said they have started saving water for their dogs, just in case.

“Luckily we have filled up some jugs because, unfortunately, we have gotten used to the water being out because it happens so often,” she said.

The city said they were only just approved for the funding—almost $1 million after a year of asking. They said it’ll take likely another year before they even break ground on the project, as the bidding process for engineers and companies to replace the line will hopefully start soon. Plus, it’ll be a tough project because of the hills and winding roads, and may take a while to complete.

“It’ll be challenging but nothing we can’t fix and get taken care of,” Kissinger said. “I don’t anticipate us breaking ground this fiscal ground. I’m looking at almost a year before we’re putting a shovel in the ground.”

“If it’s going to take them one year to maybe start, that’s ridiculous,” Mariscal said.

The water main on Royal Road is one of more than 30 water and sewage projects the city has lined up over the next several years — all totaling about $15 million dollars.

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