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.