NADB, Lower Valley Water District sign $500K grant agreement for Socorro wastewater project

San Antonio  – On Tuesday, U.S. Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23) announced a $500,000 grant signing between the North American Development Bank (NADB) and the Lower Valley Water District (LVWD) to support a wastewater project in the Rosa Azul subdivision in Socorro.

Officials say this new system will provide first-time access to wastewater services that will help prevent exposure to untreated or inadequately treated discharges for more than 900 residents.

“This grant will allow residents to make major updates to their community’s waste management systems,” said Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23). “I am committed to improving our district’s infrastructure from roads and bridges to our waste management.”

Currently, residents in the Rosa Azul subdivision use substandard on-site septic systems as their only means to manage wastewater. The on-site systems are in poor condition, frequently experience back-ups and odor problems, and risk contaminating the shallow groundwater common to this area.

To address the problem, LVWD is constructing a new public sewer system in the Rosa Azul subdivision that will connect to LVWD’s existing system, and flows will be conveyed to the Roberto Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant operated by El Paso Water (EPW).

The project, which was approved by the NADB Board of Directors in 2020, consists of connecting homes to the wastewater collection system and decommissioning existing on-site wastewater disposal systems for up to 278 homes, benefiting an estimated 996 residents.

NADB will fund $500,000 of the project cost through its Community Assistance Program (CAP), with LVWD covering the remaining portion.

“NADB funds will expedite access to critical basic services for Socorro residents and support the project’s overall environmental objective,” stated Calixto Mateos-Hanel, NADB Managing Director. “We are pleased to support projects in small communities, where grants are key to building basic infrastructure.”

According to officials, the cost of completing household connections to the new wastewater collection system infrastructure was not included in the construction costs. The cost of installing the connection and decommissioning the on-site system is typically the responsibility of the resident.

However, to relieve this financial hardship for the economically distressed population served by the new infrastructure, LVWD secured CAP funding to cover 85% of the cost.