Water Crisis Almost Over; Restrictions Lifted Tonight


POSTED: Monday, February 7, 2011 - 5:12pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 7:40am

EL PASO – If you've had limited or no access to water for the past few days, here's some good news: El Paso Water Utilities is lifting its mandatory water restrictions tonight.

“All our 55 reservoirs are now at a pretty adequate level...we will continue pumping through the night... We're going to stop the mandatory water restrictions at 10 o'clock tonight,” said Nick Costanzo, with El Paso Water Utilities.

However, not everyone is in the clear. Two reservoirs in the Mission Hills/Piedmont Area remained at low levels this afternoon. The water company said workers were trying to get that area full water supply.

El Paso Water Utilities said the boil water alert will remain in effect for the entire city, until further notice. They are recommending residents boil their water before drinking it.

“The boil water notice was simply precautionary. We don't have any evidence at this point and time that there was any contamination of the system,” said John Balliew, with El Paso Water Utilities.

According to the water company, the water crisis was all brought on by freezing temperatures, pipe leaks and rolling blackouts, that were at the request of El Paso Electric Co. The water utility company maintains at first, they did not want to take part in the rolling blackouts, but when the electric company told them it was a critical situation, they complied.

“With that request, the utility looked at its operations and decided it was better to help the residents of El Paso...to keep the heat on and not extend their blackout or crash the entire electric system,” said Costanzo.

El Paso Water Utilities said they are taking steps to make sure this does not happen again – when temperatures dip.

“We will do a self-assessment along with the electric and gas...to harden our system and see what we can do,” said Costanzo.

Comments News Comments

"Taking steps to make sure this doesn't happen again"..... Why now? Why not last week? Or last month? Or last year? Or 10 years ago? The incompetence and complacency is disheartening. FIRE ARCHULETA!

The CEO of the El Paso Electric Co. has a salary of .5 million, and over a million in stocks and other compensation. EPWU's Montoya makes .5 million. I see a pattern here. I wonder about the gas company's CEO's salary and other comp?
If fits our many school districts and their superintendents' over-the-top salaries, while our students do poorly.

Some of the locations shown in news reports could have been sheltered by the elements and prevented these problems from escalating to a crisis situation. The use of heating elements in critical areas to building hard scape structures to adequately protect sensitive locations. We have enough natural materials to insulate,cover or wrap this equipment.

Why do you repeat the pablum put out by the water co.? Where is the investigative reporting into the fact the head of the water utility, Ed Archuleta, makes more than $504,000 a year-the highest paid manager of a water utility in the whole USA- and this is the terrible service we get. Boiling water? No water?

Lack of good reporting has landed us in these dire straights. This has been a problem for years!

Oh, I forgot to mention that Christina Montoya, your (KTSM) former anchor for years, never reported on the rank abuse and financial malfeasance at the water utility-eventhough citizens were screaming about it and some citizens even shelled out of thier own pockets to put up freeway billboards to the tune of thousands of dollars- and then landed herself a nice cush job for the same water utility and lap dog of the same Ed Archuleta.

Montoya is now the spokesperson for the EPWU.

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