Photo courtesy EPWater
When it comes to water infrastructure, what is out of sight is often out of mind until there is a water emergency.
As EPWater marks Imagine a Day Without Water on Oct. 21, the Annual Value of Water national campaign offers an opportunity to learn more about your water and why it is important to each of us, our families and our broader community.
Valuable underground infrastructure
El Paso Water’s essential employees work hard daily to ensure our plants and our critical network of underground pipes, pumps and valves deliver reliable, high-quality water to our customers.
Despite our daily efforts, pipe breaks are an unfortunate part of operating a large municipal water system of 2,752 miles of water lines as well as 2,358 miles of wastewater lines. Fortunately for EPWater, our savvy customers understand our employees on the frontlines are responding as quickly as possible to maintain and repair our vital water and wastewater infrastructure.
Residents in a Northeast El Paso neighborhood recently experienced a water main break, leaving them without the ability to take a shower or turn on their tap for hours. EPWater provided a water tanker to offer residents temporary relief while crews worked to restore services.
To our delight, residents met the unexpected challenge graciously and told local media the situation opened their eyes to how much they rely on utilities for daily necessities, such as water. Customers flocked to social media to thank dedicated EPWater employees who worked tirelessly through the night.
Around our city, to imagine a day without water would mean firefighters couldn’t fulfill their duties properly and hospitals couldn’t function safely and sanitarily. Restaurants couldn’t serve customers, and schools couldn’t welcome children. Water taps wouldn’t flow, and wastewater would go nowhere when flushing the toilet. Water and wastewater infrastructure provide a community lifeline.
City water forecast
At EPWater, our planning process spans 50 years into the future. Aside from our river water supply, we have built an innovative portfolio of water resources that includes desalination, water reuse and conservation. EPWater also supplements our water supply by responsibly pumping from our wells to meet demand.
As we boldly plan for our future water resources, we also wrestle with the challenges of aging infrastructure, which is a problem we share with the rest of the nation. Most water systems in the U.S. are more than a century old.
EPWater has invested to protect our aging water and wastewater systems, but there is more work ahead to maintain the highest quality water and services for our customers.
Our utility knows safe, secure and sustainable water remains the foundation of a healthy, thriving community. EPWater wants to ensure that our water and wastewater systems deliver this valuable resource reliably for generations to come. Prioritizing and investing in our water systems is vital in El Paso so our residents won’t have to know what it’s like to go a day without water.
Author: John Balliew, P.E., President/CEO,EPWater
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