El Sásabe, Sonora, Mexico

Construction of Wastewater Collection System in El Sásabe, Sonora

Status: Completed


In 2001, the entire community of El Sásabe had access to drinking water; however, there was no centralized wastewater collection and treatment service. Residents and businesses used on-site systems to dispose of their wastewater, including latrines and some septic tanks, as well as uncontrolled ground runoff. However, in many cases, those individual sanitary systems were not properly designed or constructed, and often overflowed onto the streets, especially during rainstorms, which posed a risk for groundwater contamination and waterborne diseases.

Project Scope

The project consisted of constructing a new sewer system, including the installation of approximately 9,333 m (30,620 ft) of sewer lines, a 473-meter (1,552-foot) outfall, a 1,407-meter (4,616-foot) sewer main and 310 household connections to sewer system. Although not part of the certified project, the State of Sonora funded a parallel project to construct a lagoon-based wastewater treatment plant.


The project provided first-time wastewater collection and treatment services to the entire community of El Sásabe, Sonora, thus eliminating exposure to untreated wastewater discharges and preventing contamination of the local aquifer. By eliminating sewage spills from failing on-site systems, the project is also benefitting the neighboring community of Sasabe, Arizona, and the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, which are directly adjacent to the Mexican community.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost US 1.02M
NADBank Funding US 0.43M - NADBank Grant: BEIF
Other Funding Partners State of Sonora