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Friday , October 19 2018
Home | Tag Archives: El Paso water

Tag Archives: El Paso water

Sandbag Distribution Program Returns to Regular Schedule

With rain moving into the area, El Paso Water officials remind residents that there is only one location to pick up sandbags in the city.

The Stormwater Operations Center, located at 4801 Fred Wilson, is open throughout the year. Customers can get sandbags between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The limit is 10 bags per visit. Please bring a copy of your water bill.

Persons who cannot lift heavy items should be accompanied by someone who can assist with loading and unloading the bags.

The Central location was closed for the season at the end of September. All seasonal satellite sites will reopen next summer.

Sandbag Distribution Sites
Through Oct. 5 Beginning Oct. 6
Northeast Stormwater Operations Center

4801 Fred Wilson Ave. (map)

Mon-Fri: 8AM-8PM

Sat-Sun: 2PM-8PM

Mon-Fri: 8AM-4PM

Sat-Sun: Closed

West Artcraft Booster Station

7830 Paseo Del Norte (map)

Mon-Sun: 2PM-8PM Closed
Central Haskell R. Street Wastewater Treatment Plant

913 S. Boone St. (map)

Closed Closed
East Cielo Vista Booster Station

9428 Daugherty Drive (map)

Mon-Sun: 2PM-8PM Closed
Mission Valley Blackie Chesher Park

9292 Escobar Drive (map)

Mon-Sun: 2PM-8PM Closed

City, County Sandbag Locations Updated for Ahead of Possible Storms

El Paso Water is urging customers to obtain sandbags ahead of potentially heavy rains this week, by visiting the updated sandbag distribution site list below.

While the Haskell R. Street Wastewater Plant site on Boone street has closed for the season, customers can still obtain sandbags at any of the other 4 locations throughout El Paso.

Customers in areas prone to flooding are encouraged to have sandbags on hand before most heavy rains begin. The limit is 10 bags per visit.

El Paso Water does not charge for sandbags. Persons who cannot lift heavy items should be accompanied by someone who can assist with loading and unloading the bags.

Summer Distribution Locations & Schedule June 26 – September 30
Northeast Stormwater Operations Center
4801 Fred Wilson Ave. 79906 (map)
Mon-Fri
Sat-Sun
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
West Artcraft Booster Station
7830 Paseo Del Norte (map)
Daily 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
East Cielo Vista Booster Station
9428 Daugherty Drive (map)
Daily 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Mission Valley Blackie Chesher Park
9292 Escobar Drive (map)
Daily 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Additionally, El Paso County Public Works crews will be prepared for this week’s possible rain and flooding situations in County areas.

The County will be ready to dispatch up to 14 water trucks, a result of the Commissioners Court’s recent investment in stormwater management, to respond to any flooding or stormwater concerns. Additionally, County crews have filled over 6,000 sand bags for the storm and have delivered sandbags to the various Emergency Service District fire stations (listed below).

The sandbags will be available for pickup by residents 24/7 at the County Road & Bridge Warehouse facilities. Residents are urged to prepare accordingly.

To report flooding on County streets and roadways, residents may directly contact the County Public Works Hotline, 24/7 during a rain event, at (915) 875-8555 or via email at FloodAssist@EPCounty.com.

Residents are reminded to avoid attempting to cross running water on a roadway and to contact 911 in the event of an emergency.

 

El Paso County Road and Bridge Warehouse:

Fabens- 1331 N. Fabens St.

Canutillo- 191 Canutillo Ave.

Montana Vista- 14698 Van Lane

 

 

ESD #1

14151 Nunda Dr.

Horizon City, TX  79928

915-852-3204

 

ESD #2

Clint Fire Department

708 FM 1110

Clint, TX  79836

915-851-0018

 

Montana Vista Fire & Rescue

13978 Montana Ave.

El Paso, TX  79938

915-857-1080

 

San Elizario Fire & Rescue

1415 San Antonio

San Elizario, TX  79849

915-851-2020

 

Socorro Fire Department

11440 N. Loop

Socorro, TX  79927

915-851-8855

 

West Valley Fire Department

510 E. Vinton Rd.

Vinton, TX  79821

915-886-2323

El Paso Water To Host ‘Science Saturday’ Event at TecH2O

From science fair project to touring a water treatment facility on wheels, El Paso Water is inviting all area families out their Science Saturday event.

Officials with El Paso Water say, “Families are in for a treat at this year’s Science Saturday event at TecH2O with chances to learn how-to create a science fair project, take part in dozens of hands-on demonstrations and tour a futuristic water treatment facility on wheels.”

The award-winning “Pure Water Trailer” mobile advanced water purification trailer, developed by a team from Tucson Water, Carollo and the University of Arizona, will make a one-day stop at TecH2O to showcase water reuse technology that holds solutions to water supply challenges in the arid southwest.

The treatment process – similar to EPWater’s planned Advanced Water Purification Facility – will transform treated wastewater into purified drinking water.

Free bottles of purified water produced by the trailer will be given to attendees while supplies last.

For additional information, call the TecH2O Center at 915-621-2001.

WHAT: Science experiments and demonstrations, hands-on activities, interactive games, lecture (Noon-1:00 p.m.) on mastering science fair projects, tours of the water reuse water treatment facility on wheels.
WHO: EPWater representatives and Science fair experts
WHEN: Saturday, September 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
WHERE: TecH2O Learning Center at 10751 Montana Ave.

Partially Treated Wastewater Spill at South-Central Water Plant Reported to TCEQ

On Friday, El Paso Water officials announced that a contractor working on improvements at the Haskell R. Street Wastewater Plant, damaged a large main that feeds partially treated wastewater into the plant on Thursday.

According to El Paso Water officials, the damage resulted in a significant leak, causing several hundred thousands of gallons of partially treated wastewater to spill into the plant at 4100 Delta Drive,at approximately 1:00p.m..

“The spill did not go beyond the plant’s boundary and has been contained. No storm drains, waterways or public drinking water supplies were impacted or at risk as a result of the spill,” officials stated via a news release.

However, EPW officials added the following information for residents who get their water from wells in the area:

Persons using private drinking water supply wells located within 1/2-mile of the spill site or within the potentially affected area should use only water that has been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses including drinking, cooking, bathing, and tooth brushing. Individuals with private water wells should have their well water tested and disinfected, if necessary, prior to discontinuing distillation or boiling.”

Crews are working at the plant to recover the spilled wastewater and pump it back into the facility for full treatment.  Preparations for repairs are underway.

Wastewater service is not affected, but nearby residents may experience increased plant odors; these odors do not pose a public health concern.

El Paso Water notified the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) about the incident, and TCEQ representatives have visited the site and were briefed on remediation efforts.

All wastewater overflows in excess of 100,000 gallons must be reported to the TCEQ, the media and local officials.

If the public has questions on the spill, they may contact David Ornelas, Wastewater Systems Division Manager at El Paso Water at 915-594-5730.

El Paso Water Works to Beautify Facilities Throughout City

Imagine deeply rooted artistic rock walls adorned with wrought-iron detail enclosed the sleek, modern architecture of a new building. Water-smart landscaping surrounded the grounds showcasing the beauty of native El Paso flora.

Is this a luxury resort? No, but it may represent the future for some upcoming El Paso Water facility projects.

EPWater has facilities throughout El Paso that produce reliable, high quality drinking water. Others perform stormwater flood control functions with the vital task of collecting and cleaning wastewater from homes and businesses. Although they are necessary locations, they do not have to be unsightly.

“That’s one of the top priorities in the job I’m doing right now – to look at facilities and come up with recommendations to beautify them for the community,” Construction Superintendent Art Quijano said.

For future projects, EPWater will evaluate whether beautification is needed to better compliment neighborhoods. The utility is also evaluating existing structures in need of aesthetic improvements.

One of EPWater’s latest upgrades was to the Pico Norte Lift Station, a facility situated in the heart of the Pico Norte community that pumps wastewater to plants for treatment.

“We took the surrounding area into consideration, including the YMCA, Eastwood Middle School and the Pico Norte Park,” Quijano said. “We wanted it to be modern and blend in with the neighborhood, but we didn’t want it stand out. It needed to have attractive features with curb appeal.”

The redesign swapped the 1960s mansard-style roof with a sleek, flat front. The building’s newly installed metal siding was extended upward to cover rooftop equipment as well as shield the surrounding community from the noise it can produce.

LED lighting and siding materials were chosen for its look as well as long-term savings from low energy usage and durability.

Residents walking the park trails expressed delight when crews ousted the industrial looking chain-link fence and barbed wire to make way for updated rock walls, matching wrought-iron detail and an enhanced gateway.

“As we were working, they would comment, ‘Looking good. It’s about time,’” Quijano said. “They could see the difference.”

In just a few short months, Mulberry Pond in the Upper Valley will be the next project to receive a face-lift.

The site near Mulberry and Doniphan recently underwent an odor-control overhaul and will soon feature a new rock wall with wrought-iron detailing and a low-cut corner to enhance traffic visibility around the pond.

The nearby lift station will be hidden by the new wall and possibly repainted. A gate will update site security and discourage children and adults from entering the canal, which can fill up with stormwater and flood in minutes.

Quijano said Mulberry pond is located close to residential communities and feels this is an important site to tackle.

With many sites on Quijano’s radar he said, “It feels good that I can help improve the neighborhoods for so many people.”

EP Water: Three Month Closure of Portion of George Dieter Drive Begins Monday

El Paso Water will close a portion of George Dieter Drive from just before Scott Simpson Drive to just past Rex Baxter Drive starting July 9 to replace a 30-inch water main.

EPW officials say, “The project is part of the utility’s corrosion prevention program…EPWater is replacing water mains ahead of schedule to prevent potentially longer traffic delays and service disruptions.”

Southbound lanes will be converted into two-way traffic. Lane restrictions will begin at Vista Del Sol Drive and end at Pellicano Drive.

The proactive water main replacement project will help prevent a potentially larger and longer closure due to pipe corrosion issues in the area.

The closure is scheduled through the end of October, pending any additional work that may be required during the project.

Drivers should anticipate congestion and traffic slowdowns near the construction, and are encouraged to seek alternative routes. Residents on the west side of George Dieter can use westbound Rex Baxter to Billie Marie Drive to access Vista Del Sol.

Residents on the east side of George Dieter can use Scott Simpson Drive.

Summer Sandbag Distribution Schedule Begins July 6

Customers can get sandbags for flood control any day of the week beginning Friday, July 6. The expanded site locations and hours will be available through September 30.

The summer distribution sites will reopen in the Mission Valley, west, central and east areas of El Paso, and hours will be extended at the Stormwater Operations Center, which is open throughout the year.

Customers in areas prone to flooding are encouraged to have sandbags on hand before most heavy rains begin. The limit is 10 bags per visit.

El Paso Water does not charge for sandbags. Persons who cannot lift heavy items should be accompanied by someone who can assist with loading and unloading the bags.

Summer Distribution Locations & Schedule June 26 – September 30
Northeast Stormwater Operations Center
4801 Fred Wilson Ave. 79906 (map)
Mon-Fri
Sat-Sun
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
West Artcraft Booster Station
7830 Paseo Del Norte (map)
Daily 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Central Haskell R. Street Wastewater Treatment Plant
913 S. Boone St. (map)
Daily 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
East Cielo Vista Booster Station
9428 Daugherty Drive (map)
Daily 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Mission Valley Blackie Chesher Park
9292 Escobar Drive (map)
Daily 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Environmental Services, El Paso Water Each Earn Statewide Recognition

The City’s Environmental Services Department and El Paso Water are being honored with statewide awards by the Texas Chapter of the American Public Works Association (TPWA).

“Environmental Services is always looking for ways to improve waste management. This award recognizing our innovative waste exchange program as a best practice demonstrates that the efforts of our department and employees is making difference in providing the community with outstanding services,” said Ellen Smyth, Environmental Services Director.

The City’s Environmental Services Department is being lauded with TPWA’s Management Innovation award. The award recognizes the department for its innovative waste exchange program, a public-private partnership agreement that allows it meet the community’s waste disposal demands.

According to a news release from the city, “Through the partnership with Waste Connections Inc., Environmental Services has strengthened its operational efficiencies and quality customer service through the conservation of fuel, overtime, and wear and tear on refuse trucks while becoming a better steward of the community.”

El Paso Water earned the TPWA Project of the Year for 2018 for its Resiliency Building & Water Storage project.  El Paso Water invested $12 million to construct several elevated water storage tanks in 2017 to ensure continued water service in certain pressure zones that were vulnerable to water losses.

The new tanks provide an additional 13 million gallons of backup water supplies that can be routed around service disruptions, including water main breaks or large-scale emergencies.

“This project – along with our $30 million investment in additional backup power generators at many of our facilities – has improved our overall emergency preparedness and system resiliency so we can better serve our customers,” said Alan Shubert, El Paso Water Vice President for Operations & Technical Services.  Shubert also serves on the TPWA Board.

Both Environmental Services and El Paso Water will be honored at an awards event on Thursday, June 28, as part of the association’s annual conference held June 27-29 in Fort Worth.

El Paso Water Earns Directors Award for Water Distribution System

El Paso Water is among an elite group of utilities to earn the Partnership for Safe Water’s Directors Award for Distribution System Operations.

EPWater received this award for successfully completing a comprehensive self-assessment of distribution system operations and optimization that demonstrate the utility’s commitment to delivering safe, high quality water to the community.

“We are honored to be one of an elite group of systems to receive this award,” said EPWater CEO and President John Balliew. “Our utility’s goal is to be a leader in optimization and to continuously strive to optimize performance and provide high-quality water. The award demonstrates our ongoing commitment to protecting public health.”

The self-assessment process involves evaluation of distribution system operations and performance, identification of performance limiting factors and the development of action plans to achieve distribution system optimization. A final step involves participation by independent experts in a peer-review process, who prepare and publish a completion report.

The Partnership for Safe Water is a voluntary self-assessment and optimization program for water treatment plant and distribution system operations.

More than 250 utility subscribers, collectively serving more than 85 million people are committed to the Partnership’s goals of providing safe, high-quality drinking water through achieving operational excellence. Partnership members participate in a rigorous four-phase self-assessment and peer review process, developed by industry experts, and are recognized broadly for their commitment to delivering safe water to their communities.

EPWater was one of a select group of utilities recognized at the annual conference of the American Water Works Association on June 12, for achieving the Directors Award-level of performance within the Partnership’s Distribution System Optimization Program.

El Paso Water Highlights Infrastructure Improvements Around City

To celebrate National Infrastructure Week with utilities across the country, EPWater is highlighting some of the many projects in and around the city.

For 2018, EP Water officials say they are investing $75 million to replace aging water and wastewater lines, rehabilitate wells and reservoirs, and make much needed upgrades to various facilities.

El Paso Water maintains over 2,653 miles of water lines buried beneath the city – enough to stretch from El Paso to the tip of Maine –  and crews are always working to upgrade the elaborate system.

With many storage tanks, pump stations, and treatment facilities working alongside stormwater structures like dams, channels and ponds; a system of this size requires continual investment in the rehabilitation of aging infrastructure, as well as new construction projects to support city growth.

One such project features EP Water crews replacing one of the oldest water storage tanks dating back to the 1920s: Jackson Ground Water Storage Tank.

To improve capacity and reliability of service for nearly 200 locations in west central El Paso, the tank is being replaced with a three-million-gallon tank, pump station and connections to the distribution system.

The project will restore the tank to its original storage capacity, ensuring reliable service during drought and emergencies.

Aesthetic improvements include a new rock wall with decorative wrought iron fencing, water-smart plants, and a newly paved access road shared with neighbors. The construction cost for this project is $4.6 million.

Not too far away in central El Paso, the Haskell R. Street Wastewater Plant dates back to 1923. The plant provides essential services to nearly 150,000 customers by treating 27.7 million gallons of wastewater per day.

Projects underway will improve efficiency, reliability and odor control. Odors have been a persistent problem in surrounding neighborhoods for decades, but work performed at the plant and with the incoming distribution systems has slashed detectable odor to the community by 75 percent.

Recent upgrades have overhauled the “degrit facilities”—one of the first stops in the treatment process, mitigated odors from incoming wastewater mains, and upgraded primary clarifiers and related enclosures. The upgrades will continue with planned improvements to pumps, mechanical screens and compactors as well as an aeration channel cover, which together should eliminate odors beyond the plant boundary.

Across town, the Thomas Manor Park Pond and Pump Station Project is a good example of blending infrastructure needs with quality of life improvements.

While EP Water works to improve flood control and increase public safety, the park will get a facelift thanks to the partnership between EP Water, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Ysleta Independent School District.

Infrastructure updates include: a relocated pond that will increase stormwater capacity by more than 11 million gallons, a rehabilitated pump station, and replacement of aging water and wastewater pipes within the park.

The new park-pond design will not only capture stormwater runoff but also create recreational opportunities for nearby residents by providing fresh turf for green fields, updated walking trails, and a new play area.

El Pasoans Urged to Call 311 to Report Illegal Dumping

El Paso Water, the City of El Paso Environmental Services Department and the El Paso County Water Improvement District #1 (EPCWID #1) announced the kick-off of a public service campaign to bring attention to the City’s major illegal dumping problem and urge citizens to play a role in helping stop it.

More than 140,000 pounds of trash were illegally dumped in ditches, arroyos and across El Paso within the last year. Tires, mattresses, shopping carts and even toilets are among the most frequent items found and removed.

“Illegal dumping is a big problem in El Paso. Everybody needs to do their part to stop it,” said El Paso Water President and CEO John Balliew. “Our crews dedicate a significant amount of time and money to clearing out the trash. We could be using those funds to build more stormwater ponds that keep water off our streets.”

Photo courtesy EPW

Balliew also pointed out that even a small amount of trash can clog drains and canals, creating a serious flood safety risk in a matter of minutes. He said the problem becomes particularly dangerous during the monsoon season and urged residents to call 311 to report illegal dumping.

City of El Paso Environmental Services Department Deputy Director Kurt Fenstermacher warned illegal dumping carries big consequences: it’s a Class C misdemeanor and you can face up $4,000 in fines.

“We all have to do our part to keep our city safe, clean and beautiful…But that requires us taking action and saying something when we see (illegal dumping),” Fenstermacher said.

To raise awareness of the problem, the new public service campaign will utilize radio, video, digital and outdoor media to get the word out.  To demonstrate how big the problem is, EPWater puts the 140,000 pounds of trash in context by pointing out it is equal to the weight of a herd of elephants.

At the kick-off, an elephant sculpture made out of illegally dumped trash was on hand, designed by local artist Jason Brewer. The sound and visuals of elephants are threaded throughout the public service campaign.

El Paso residents are urged to dispose of any large trash or waste at the approved Citizen Collection Centers throughout the city. The centers are located at:

  • Northeast: 4501 Hondo Pass Drive
  • Central: 2492 Harrison Ave.
  • West Side: 121 Atlantic Road
  • East Side: 1034 Pendale Road
  • East Side: 3510 Confederate Drive

 

For more information on the campaign click here.

As Warmer Weather Arrives, Conservation Counts for EP Water Customers

It’s no secret that El Pasoans have taken water conservation to heart. In 1991, El Paso Water rolled out an aggressive conservation program that had residents slashing water usage by about 30 percent over nearly 30 years.

“It’s quite an accomplishment that our community is using less water today than we did in the mid-1990s even though we’ve added almost 200,000 new residents,” El Paso Water President and CEO John Balliew said.

According to El Paso Water, this drop in usage was the result of a “multi-pronged program touting incentives for conservation, education efforts, and a revised rate structure that promotes conservation. However, continued conservation efforts are important for long-term sustainability.”

Currently the average El Pasoan uses 128 gallons per day, and the goal for 2030 is 118 gallons per day. El Pasoans can do their part by following tips to save water, and that means saving money, as well.

El Paso Water’s rate structure encourages conservation because the unit price of water increases with more water use. The less customers use, the less they pay.  Getting a waiver for the Water Supply Replacement Charge is another way for customers to bank some savings.

This charge – which is about $10 for the average residential customer – is applied to infrastructure investments for future water supplies. However, the charge is waived for customers who use less than 2,992 gallons of water in any given month.

As temperatures climb, many El Pasoans return to their gardens with hoses in hand. But if they’re using more water, they can expect an increase in their bill as well.

EP Water offers the follow these tips:

Only water during designated days and times.
Water early or late in the day to avoid evaporation.
Put irrigation on hold during windy and rainy weather.
Check outdoor water systems for winter induced cracks and leaks.
Select WaterSmart plants. EPWater has provided many online examples (and photos) of water efficient plants that are well suited to our Chihuahuan Desert environment at El Paso Desert Blooms.

“Simple steps can yield extraordinary results with just a little bit of effort,” said El Paso Water Conservation Manager Anai Padilla. “Everyone can be a thoughtful steward of our water resources.”

Video+Story: Technology Spurs EP Water’s Odor Control Projects

Times and technology have changed El Paso Water’s Haskell R. Street Wastewater Treatment Plant, and so have the complaints regarding odor control.

In 2012, EP Water commissioned a report to identify odor control solutions. One the results were in, crews began implementation of those solutions shortly thereafter. With the new technology – and the 29 workers at the plant, on Delta Drive south of the El Paso County Coliseum – EP Water was able cut the number of homes affected by the odors from 21,000 to 5,000, a reduction of odor by 75 percent.

Utility officials say that, “Building on past efforts, recent projects continue to reduce the number of homes affected by odors, and further improvements are imminent….EPWater has made vast improvements over the decades, and neighbors have noticed.”

Now EPWater officials say they are in the middle of the latest and “most significant upgrades” at the 95-year-old plant, which provides services to nearly 150,000 customers in Central El Paso and Fort Bliss.

“We have revised the odor control master plan, incorporated technological advancements, and began installations and replacements to further decrease odors from the plant.”

The latest round of the first of five odor control projects started in 2015, with de-grit facilities. Chemicals added to wastewater mains came next and was completed in 2017. The third project, associated with the rehabilitation of four primary clarifiers, is nearing completion.

“We are confident that two remaining future projects will practically eliminate odors for the Haskell plant’s neighbors: a headworks project, as well as an aeration channel cover and dewatering project,” officials shared.  “Combating odors at EPWater’s wastewater treatment plants is a long-term, solid investment…administering odor-control solutions improves working conditions for our employees and enhances quality of life for the community.”

‘Two Nations One Water’ Border Summit Draws 300 Water Leaders

Water industry experts and researchers gathered Thursday and Friday in the Sun City to explore water strategies for the border’s future at the Two Nations One Water: U.S.-Mexico Border Water Summit.

Lead organizer Ed Archuleta, Director of Water Initiatives for the University of Texas at El Paso, welcomed the diverse audience to the “Olympics of Water on the Border” at the TecH2O Learning Center located at 10751 Montana Avenue.

“Despite all the rhetoric in the news about building border walls and immigration issues, those of you in the water industry know that water is the most important issue on the U.S.-Mexico border,” said Archuleta. He invited participants “to share ideas so we can continue to have a robust and economically viable border region.”

“Establishing partnerships is vital to navigating water issues on the border,” said El Paso Water President and CEO John Balliew.  “It’s very important to have cooperation when dealing with this key resource. Our triangle of relationships between EPWater, the region’s universities and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is key to solving many of these issues.”

Speakers and participants engaged on topics such as drought, the Colorado River Agreement – Minute 323 and research on innovative technologies including water reuse and desalination.

A number of ideas were advanced throughout the two days to further cross-border cooperation and advance innovations that support the vitality of the border region.  Among the ideas that generated the most discussion were:

  • Begin to work on a cooperative binational framework focused on aquifers that cross state and national borders; and
  • Examine new economic models that value water and water infrastructure appropriately for long term sustainability.

Commissioner Roberto Fernando Salmón Castelo, of Mexico’s International Boundary and Water Commission (CILA), said the international conference and ongoing dialogue will help strengthen U.S.-Mexico bonds.

“We want water to be a theme that unites us, not divides us,” Salmón said.

Photo gallery courtesy EP Water

PSB Approves FY 2018-19 Budget, Rates and Fees

Wednesday morning, the Public Service Board (PSB) approved the El Paso Water Budget for fiscal year 2018-19 for its water, wastewater, reclaimed water and stormwater utilities.

“As El Paso’s population grows, we must continue to develop new water resources and extend infrastructure to serve new developments of homes and businesses,” said EPWater President and CEO John Balliew. “We also aim to improve system reliability and customer service.”

The new budget includes an 8% water/wastewater rate increase and a 2% stormwater fee increase.  Together, these translate into an increase of $4.06 per month for a typical homeowner.

The $490 million water, wastewater and reclaimed water budget enables El Paso Water to replace aging infrastructure, improve reliability and secure future water supplies.  The utility has also prioritized investment in a new customer information system and will continue staffing improvements and technology upgrades to improve customer satisfaction.

The $51.1 million stormwater budget will help expand flood control projects, maintain the existing stormwater system, and continue to set aside 10 percent of funds for dual-purpose ponds and open space projects.

“El Paso Water is trying to be proactive by repairing and replacing deteriorating infrastructure,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “We need to be prepared, and build for the future.”

Via a news release, PSB officials said, “Even with this year’s rate and fee increases, El Paso’s monthly water charges are well below those of other large Texas cities and other Texas border cities…and on a national scale, El Paso’s water and wastewater rates are less than half of the national average of $140 per month.”

Officials added, “Conservation is the key to reducing water bills for residential and business customers. The rate structure is designed to provide relief for low water users while charging a premium for high water users. Customers using less than 4 ccfs* (2,992 gallons) of water in any given month will receive a waiver of the Water Supply Replacement Charge. Last year, this charge of $9.83 was waived on an average of 38,000 monthly customer bills.”

The PSB also gave EPWater approval to enter into discussions with Project Amistad, a local non-profit, on an affordability program to help those who struggle to pay their monthly bill.

The approved budgets, rates and fees will go into effect at the start of the fiscal year, which begins March 1, 2018.

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