Mexico's national water authority Conagua has launched operations on the first stage of the 500mn-peso (US$43.2mn) Oriente wastewater treatment plant in Nayarit state capital Tepic.
First-stage work required some 70mn pesos, of which 43mn pesos came from the federal government and the rest from state funds, according to a Conagua release.
The plant currently has capacity to treat 100l/s of wastewater. Work will begin shortly on the second phase, which will double the plant's capacity.
The project aims to increase wastewater treatment to 95% in Tepic and Xalisco metropolitan areas, and further clean up the Santiago and Mololoa rivers. The initiative is expected to benefit some 98,000 residents in the eastern part of the state capital.
The work is part of Conagua's 489mn-peso Mololoa river cleanup plan, launched at the start of President Felipe Calderón's administration in 2008. The project includes the 153mn-peso El Punto wastewater treatment plant on the Mololoa river, which opened last year.
Increasing the percentage of treated wastewater in Mexico is one of the main objectives established under the federal government's 2030 water plan, presented by Calderón in March 2010.