PUBLIC MEETING SLATED IN SALEM TO DISCUSS WASTEWATER INITIATIVE

PUBLIC MEETING SLATED IN SALEM TO DISCUSS WASTEWATER INITIATIVE

The Doña Ana County Utility Department has scheduled an April 5 community meeting in the northern-county community of Salem to apprise residents of details related to the implementation of a new wastewater collection and treatment system.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 5, 2001, at the Salem Catholic Church and will focus on the technical, environmental and financial aspects of the project, including projected rates, hook-up fees and financial assistance programs associated with bringing the project online.
Currently under design, the proposed collection system will include about 21,000 feet of 8-inch sewer-collection lines connected to a pump station that will send the effluent to the treatment facility. The facility will employ state-of-the-art odor-elimination technology on a site located almost a mile from Salem’s population center, near the Rio Grande.
Treated effluent from the plant will be discharged into the river at purity levels exceeding federal EPA standards. Residents can expect to pay between $18 and $23 per month for service once the plant is activated, along with a one-time activation and connection fee of about $150. Actual hook-up costs are estimated to be between $1,500 and $2,000 with financial assistance absorbing most of the impact for most property owners.
The plant’s full capacity of 200,000 gallons a day is expected to exceed demand until the year 2020, and expansion capabilities have been pre-designed into the system to allow for growth.
Doña Ana County estimates that hook-ups will begin in mid-2002 and that the plant should allow for the retirement of more than 250 septic systems that currently threaten the community’s groundwater quality. Part of the conversion process will require that septic systems be permanently decommissioned as individual homes hook into the new collection system.
The meeting will be coordinated by the county utility staff with support from the project’s engineers and outside funding and granting agencies.
For more information, call county Public Information Officer Jess Williams at (505) 647-7229. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7229.