WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Waste and Environmental Program has awarded the Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association a $4,226,000 loan and $6,829,965 grant to expand wastewater infrastructure and build a vacuum sewer collection service in the San Ysidro colonia and northern Las Cruces metro area. The project will reduce groundwater contamination by installing a new sewer system to service over 500 homes and three businesses that currently use cesspools or septic tanks.
The grant will finance the construction of a new gravity and vacuum wastewater collection system and 55,000 feet of sewer lines. The new vacuum sewer system transports sewage with air pressure from its source to a sewage treatment plant. Once finished, the vacuum sewer lines will route wastewater to existing wastewater lines which flow to the City of Las Cruces wastewater collection system and treatment facility.
“Funding wastewater collection and clean drinking water infrastructure are smart investments that improve the health of our communities and safeguard our groundwater resources,” said Udall. “This critical funding from USDA will help modernize wastewater infrastructure in San Ysidro colonia and northern Las Cruces, helping to boost economic development and ensure clean drinking water for families. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue to fight for water infrastructure funding so that communities across New Mexico have the resources they need to improve our water systems and ensure clean water for all.”
“Investing in wastewater infrastructure projects is critical to economic development and the health and resiliency of New Mexicans across the state,” said Heinrich. “I am pleased these funds will be going to San Ysidro colonia and northern Las Cruces to modernize commercial and residential wastewater systems. I will continue fighting for resources, infrastructure investments, and forward-looking policies so that all New Mexicans have access to clean drinking water.”
“Water is the foundation of communities across southern New Mexico. However, often times rural residents struggle to safely access this precious resource. By funding the construction of new sewer lines, the USDA Rural Development’s investment in Doña Ana County will modernize local infrastructure, improve water quality for residents, and better the public health of communities in northern Las Cruces and San Ysidro colonia,” said Torres Small. “I’ve fought hard to protect our water resources, and this funding is an important step forward in ensuring that every New Mexican–regardless of where they live–has the access to clean water to stay healthy and thrive.”