A Nov. 28, 2012 community gathering celebrated the $1.74 million project
More than 200 residents of west El Paso County, Texas will have reliable drinking water service and dependable fire hydrants for the first time because of a cooperative effort of the United States Department of Agriculture, El Paso Water Utilities, El Paso County and Border Interfaith. The project in the Mayfair/NuWay area is nearing completion and many residents have already turned the tap on their new water service.
“Many of us take for granted our access to clean drinking water. The reality is that there are still rural areas in America where water systems are nonexistent and residents have never had in-home access to water,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director. “Rural Development is pleased to provide funding for this project, which will provide a modern water system for residents of the Mayfair/NuWay communities.”
The $1.74 million project comes at no cost to existing EPWU customers. The project was funded with $1.6 million in grants from USDA-Rural Development. The remaining cost was funded through low-interest loans from the USDA. The project was designed and built by EPWU but will be operated by the county.
“As the state-sanctioned regional water planner, El Paso Water Utilities got involved once it became clear that the privately-owned system of wells and pumps was breaking down and failed to meet state standards,” said John Balliew, EPWU vice president of operations and technical services. “For decades, EPWU has partnered with organizations to bring first-time water service and improved quality of life to colonias throughout El Paso County.”
EPWU estimates as many as 5,000 people in El Paso County still live in locations without suitable running water in their homes.