KMSB "Nogales SCC Profiles," Wednesday-Friday, 7/28/10-7/30/10, 6:55 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Sherry Sass, Friends of the Santa Cruz River, in Wednesday's interview, talks about a recent study by the Sonoran Institute which found that the  effluent-dominated river was still high in ammonia concentrate.  But, she says, this was before the upgrade of the bi-national wastewater treatment plant went on-line last June.  She says the water now is clear and smells good and the Institute is in the process of collecting new data about the water quality. Thursday, Sass says even a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant has limitations on what it can properly handle. She says as a result, her group continues to seek ways to improve the quality of the River.  She says an experimental bio-diesel plant is converting discarded cooking oil from Sonoran restaurants into energy.  She says improper human waste disposal in Sonora is also being addressed with a composting toilet project which will convert the waste into valuable compost. On Friday's program Sass says RiverWatch is the group’s water quality monitoring program, which has been on-going since 1992 and is the most complete database available on the river’s water quality.  Sass says sanitized effluent (treated wastewater) is discharged into the river from the bi-national Wastewater Treatment Plant and has helped restore many miles of riparian habitat which were lost several decades ago from agricultural pumping