El Paso County Running Dry


POSTED: Monday, February 7, 2011 - 2:30am

UPDATED: Monday, February 7, 2011 - 9:00am

EL PASO - The mayor has declared a water emergency for the City of El Paso, and the entire region is under mandatory water restrictions indefinitely.

El Paso County is almost completely dry, and the water situation has become a public safety emergency according to El Paso Water Utility leaders.

"We're asking folks again not to wash cars, shower, use a dishwasher or clothes washing machine or anything else that uses a large amount of water," El Paso Water Utilities Vice President Nick Costanza said.

Costanza said most water reservoirs are running low, and he says some of them are already completely out of water thanks to the rolling blackouts.

"As wells were shut down and turned back on there was damage to the wells and freezing of pipes and infrastructure," he said.

That means most of the people in El Paso City and County don't have water at all. If you do have water you still have a problem. We're told tens of thousands of pipes are broken in the Borderland, and that means the water may be contaminated.

"The entire city is on a boil water alert, the entire city," Costanza said.

Along with asking people to limit water use, El Paso Water Utilities is ordering businesses that use a lot of water to shut down. They need people to conserve water because reservoirs low and the demand for water is higher than normal by 44 million gallons a day. We're told at that rate El Paso Water Utilities may not be able to recover soon.

"We think it's going to take another day to bring reservoirs up, and it may take longer," Costanza said.

Comments News Comments

What the hell? These guys over at EPWU and El Paso Electric should have been better prepared than the average citizen. They are supposed to be professionals and yet are only as prepared as the next common individual. I'd like to know why the Las Cruces water utility company was able to get back online already and EPWU has not?

damn you to hell city council... over paid buffoons... EPWU, EPE, this town has been run into the ground by these fathead idiots...

I saw lines at the car wash this morning. What's up ith that? You ask me to skip my shower and not do laundry, but do nothing to prevent wasting water with nonsense like car washing. LOL@EP.

Wow, no showers?!?!? I don't think I can go a day without a shower. I know some people don't mind walking around smelling like a sewage, but I don't.

Storm 2006 resulted in everyone knowing how badly maintained our storm water drains were.

We build schools but don't maintain them and here comes a bond issue.

Now we have a 50 year ice storm and find out how badly maintained our electrical, water, and gas systems are.

What's the price tag for this "problem".

El Paso City, County, State Government need to get out of my pocket for things they build and don't take care of figuring the taxpayer will handle it again.

Dianna D

then why do some people still have water. its unfair everybody should be cut off from water except for hospitals and other emergency places. i would love to take a bath but no i cant cause no water....

I lived on a ranch with a well and I never shut down my well even when temperatures were single digit and for extending hard freezes.
My well was enclosed and critical electrical components were kept warm and heated with simple heat lamps and light bulbs. There is more components with El Paso Water Utilities but its the same principle. The EP wells were shut down, and of course the lack of movement and flow of water (also no heating elements) caused infrastructure failures of piping.

In the Northern states power is lost because of freezing tree limbs coming down on power lines, or Ice snapping lines.
We didn't have none of that happen here, and El Paso Electric's failure to winterize components and has now snowballed to a city-wide water shortage. Its ironic how El Paso Electric and Water Utilities remind us every fall to properly take precautions and winterize our homes and businesses. The technology of today along with a profitable year they enjoy. We suffer the hardship

If I make and give away bumper stickers at cost that say, "Fire Ed Archuleta and David Stevens" (Archuleta is head of the PSB and Stevens is the head of EPEC), then we can get the point across. Heads need to roll.

The City is in a crises, and Mayor Cook was off to a football game in San Antonio. His responses came from Austin. This is appalling! It's no wonder we are floundering amidst the incompetence and irresponsible actions of our Mayor and Public Utilities. Those responsible should be held in our contempt. The citizens of El Paso are NOT to blame. Let's hold those who failed us responsible, and demand resignations of the Administrators and City "leaders" who created this "crisis"!

But Cathedral is going to school!!!! YAY!
Water usage all day...

WoO Viva La Cate!!!!!

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