EPWater diverts more wastewater from Rio Grande as part of second phase of mitigation plan

EPWater officials said on Friday that the utility has implemented the second phase of its mitigation plan to divert wastewater from the Rio Grande to the Haskell R. Street wastewater treatment plant in the south-central El Paso.

Utilities officials say this phase will remove additional sewage from the US canal and divert it to the Haskell plant via a pipeline. After treatment, the clean water will be discharged into the Rio Grande.

The first phase of the mitigation plan began at the end of September when the utility began diverting wastewater to the Roberto Bustamante treatment plant in the lower valley in order to reduce the environmental impact on the Rio Grande.

EPWater began discharging sewage into the Rio Grande in August to prevent overflows in neighborhoods after the Frontera Force Mains outage.

Work continues to install the replacement of the Frontera Force Mains near Sunland Park Drive and Doniphan Drive with an estimated completion date of December 2021.

The utility recently felt the impacts of the nationwide supply chain shortage, but found a solution to the delay in shipping materials.

“We took matters into our own hands by setting up an on-site fabrication shop to produce the fiberglass needed for the pipelines,” said Gilbert Trejo, technical director. “Rather than waiting for the shipment that is late, these efforts will help ensure that we meet our deadline to complete the project on time.”

Over the past two weeks, the contractor has focused on manufacturing fiberglass pipe and fittings for the pipeline, monitoring quality assurance, and preparing for the connection of the new pipeline to the station. lifting.

EPWater continues to coordinate and communicate with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the International Boundary Water Commission, El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 and other parties. stakeholders as the public service faces this unprecedented wastewater emergency.

Officials remind residents that as of August 13, public service suffered several cuts to the Frontera Force network.

On average, the lines transport about 10 million gallons of wastewater from West El Paso each day. Additional breaks – and sewage back-ups in a low-lying area of ​​the Upper Valley – forced EPWater to make the difficult decision to divert the sewage to the Rio Grande at the end of August.

The utility reported the initial sewage emergency to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and maintained regular contact with the agency throughout the process.

For everything related to EPWater, click here; for our previous coverage of EPWater, click here.

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