One Tuesday members from Albuquerque's South Valley Mountain View neighborhood association picked up shovels alongside folks from the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, and dug into the dirt, breaking ground for a new pre treatment facility.
For years now the the area has been described as a nightmare due to the stench, because literally every time a toilet is flushed in the 300 square mile zone, all the sewage is funneled to this one plant.
Bernalillo county commissioner Art DeLaCruz is currently serving as Chairman of the Water Authority.
"Millions of gallons come here from the entire metro area, you can't stop it," he says. "It is cleaned and screened and let back into the river and for now, this is it."
The reclamation plant was built in the 1960's and over the years there has been a lack of infrastructure investment at the sewage plant. A few years ago the decision was made to take the financial plunge by hiking customer rates, and devote a quarter billion dollars into the wasteland.
"The surrounding community who's been a reluctant host for this facility will not smell
as bad if you will," DeLaCruz explains.
The neighborhood association has been working with policy makers and executives to solidify a long term plan. This $31 million state of the art pre treatment facility, scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2015, is just the first step in the rehab process.
Rick Watson is with the Mountain View Neighborhood association.
"I mean we host the plant down here and we deserve a right to clean the air up a bit," he says. "That has been our goal for a long time."
Plans for more localized treatment facilities have been drawn up, and will be built in the future.