EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Hillcrest subdivision in El Paso County will have access to clean drinking water for the very first time. The installation of a new water distribution system will provide water in over 100 homes.

The total cost for the system will be $3.28 million but will be partially financed with a grant worth $1.6 million provided through the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) presided over the groundbreaking ceremony held on Thursday, May 4.

“It was very much out of the reach of local governments to be able to address the needs in colonias, but as a member of Congress, it has been my mission to make sure that the federal government provides the support our community needs in order to ensure that families get access to water and wastewater,” said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar.

The new drinking water system will use over 20,000 linear feet of PVC waterlines, 16 fire hydrants and 107 service connections in its construction. When the project is completed it is expected to eliminate water contamination and waterborne diseases associated with hauling water and use of on-site storage tanks.

“You’ve got 100 families that are going to feel so much better about themselves, the get dignified which means they’ll get out of poverty you know this is what we want we don’t want anyone in El Paso to live differently because they happen to live somewhere else.”

The new system will also be connected to the existing El Paso Water distribution system. It will supply the water and provide all operation maintenance services.

Construction began on May 4 and is expected to be completed in 300 days.