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UPDATE: West El Paso residents may resume indoor water use after 5:00 p.m. Sunday

El Paso Water is announcing that west side residents and businesses may resume normal water
use as of 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 15.

“We want to express our appreciation to west El Paso residents for their cooperation in reducing indoor water use over the past 24 hours,” said EPWater President and CEO John Balliew “The reduced flows enabled our crews to work more efficiency to repair the pipelines
that convey wastewater from homes and businesses to the treatment plant.”

The utility put out the call to action to reduce indoor water use on Saturday evening after two broken wastewater lines on Sunland Park Drive and Doniphan Circle caused a wastewater backup and overflows in a neighborhood in the Upper Valley.

EPWater reports that more than a dozen residents filed claims for private property damage resulting from the wastewater overflows.

Officials added that the utility is working with affected homeowners on a case by case basis to address claims. The public drinking water supply was not impacted.

Westbound Sunland Park Dr. from Interstate 10 to Doniphan Park Circle will continue to be reduced to one lane while crews continue repairs.

For residents directly impacted by the wastewater flows, please contact 915-594-5500.

***previous story below

As a result of damage from the past day’s storms, EPWater is experiencing a wastewater pipeline emergency on the Westside of El Paso with the main wastewater artery that moves all residential and commercial wastewater to the Hickerson Water Reclamation Facility disrupted by pipeline breaks. 

EPWater is urgently asking all Westside residents anywhere north of Sunland Park Drive to reduce their indoor water use.

“If at all possible, please delay use of dishwashers, washing machines, delay or cut short shower times, and only flush when you have to,” said EPWater Chief Technical Officer Gilbert Trejo.

“Residents may continue to drink the tap water or use water for health or medical needs.”  “The tap water quality is not affected and remains safe and of high quality,” said Trejo. “We simply have too much wastewater coming through the system and need the cooperation of Westside water users to reduce usage.”

Trejo added that crew have been on-site for more than 24 hours, working to repair the lines.  The pair of broken lines are part of a pipeline replacement construction project to increase reliability of the system.

Utility officials say the first main break occurred Friday at approximately 1:30 a.m. on the 3900 block of Doniphan Park Cir.  When wastewater was diverted to the second parallel pipeline, the pressure caused a second break at approximately 8:30 a.m. Friday near the corner of Sunland Park and Doniphan Park.

“This combined event has resulted in a discharge of hundreds of thousands of gallons of domestic wastewater, which has been largely contained, disinfected and diverted to a nearby pond,” EPWater officials said. “However, wastewater volume has ballooned today, causing wastewater backups in multiple areas along the wastewater pipelines, causing some wastewater to emerge on neighborhood streets and even intrude on private property.”

EPWater reports that more than a dozen residents have filed claims for private property damage from the wastewater. EPWater will continue to provide updates when normal water use can resume. Trejo says this may take 24-48 hours.

For residents directly impacted by the wastewater flows, please contact 915-594-5500. Residents are advised to avoid coming in contact with wastewater.

For more info from EPWater, click here.