43 stormwater projects complete ahead of monsoon

43 stormwater projects complete ahead of monsoon
Posted on 06/21/2022
Morehead Dam during construction.

As monsoon season begins, El Paso Water has been busy preparing existing stormwater infrastructure for the next slew of storms. The utility’s Chief Operations Officer for Stormwater, Gisela Dagnino, reported 43 stormwater projects have been completed with several more still in progress.

“We had a very active monsoon season last year and we saw damage city-wide” Dagnino said. “I’m happy to say that we were able address most of the damage.”

During June’s Public Service Board meeting, Dagnino said a total of 67 projects were identified as the result of last year's storms with more than $4 million in improvements to stormwater infrastructure completed to date.

Repairs included building berms, correcting erosion issues, replacing inlets, backfilling pipes, removing silt/sediment from ponds, channels, and dams, and the rebuilding of some channels.

Currently there are four stormwater projects in construction, including two heavily damaged structures in Central El Paso – the Morehead and Memphis Dams.

Capacity was expanded on both dams, and work resulted in strengthened slopes to withstand high-velocity rushing waters that will also reduce the amount of debris and damage downstream.

In addition, nine new projects were added to the stormwater capital improvements budget.   

Edgemere and Airway Channel

New emergency resolution

The storms of Summer 2021 proved to be some of the heaviest rain events in the history of our region, overwhelming many parts of the system. In response, the PSB approved an emergency resolution that allowed EPWater to fast-track repairs and improvements.

This year, Dagnino asked the board to approve a new emergency resolution ahead of time, allowing EPWater to be well-positioned to immediately repair infrastructure and work with qualified consultants and contractors to perform the necessary design and repairs should the need arise.

“Although it is too early to predict whether El Paso will experience rain events comparable to those in 2021, the approval of this resolution ensures that if there is a significant storm event, the utility will be ready to mobilize immediately,” Dagnino said.

From August 2021 to April 2022, EPWater’s stormwater maintenance crews tackled 472 service requests and also completed the cleanup of more than 4,000 inlets, 13 miles of channels and conduits, and more than 600 acres of ponds and dams.

Overall, Dagnino is proud of the investments EPWater has made to improve our stormwater system, but she maintains there is still work to be done.

See damage or illegal dumping? Report it

If you see damage to parts of the stormwater system – whether channels, ponds and inlets – please email a picture with the location to [email protected]. You can also report illegal dumping by calling 311.

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