New water may flow through downtown Tucson

Published: May. 10, 2018 at 10:19 AM MST|Updated: May. 11, 2018 at 6:51 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Treated sewage water might soon flow through downtown Tucson because of a permit filed by Tucson Water with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. The city is looking to discharge treated sewage into the Santa Cruz River.

The Santa Cruz River Heritage Project, according to what Tucson Water wrote in their permit for the project, would allow for a reclaimed water recharge facility in downtown area. Tucson Water says the project will help them to have more space to recharge more water, which will provide a more extensive water supply downtown.

The process and plan to do that entails three phases of sediment and vegetation removal. The first phase runs from Gr ant Road to Speedway Boulevard. It began recently and has stirred some controversy with some Tucsonans  who cite the need for the Santa Cruz River bed to act as an important habitat for wildlife. AZDEQ says not to worry though, their goal is to promote the health of the public during the permit process.

"People are protected because the permit requires them to do routine monitoring to make sure that the public health and the environment is protected," AZDEQ Individual Permit Manager Andy Koester said.

The final two phases will run north from Silverlake Road to the downtown area.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is accepting comments on the permit submitted by Tucson Water. The comment period lasts until May 26. To have your say, click HERE.

They say getting the opinion of the public during the permit process is very important to them.

"It's important to get input from the public and our customers to make sure that we are incorporating all of their concerns to make sure that we are writing a permit that is protective of human health and the environment,"Koester said.

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