EPWater prioritizes wastewater pipelines

EPWater prioritizes wastewater pipelines
Posted on 02/22/2023
This line does not replace the existing 12-inch line but instead will give wastewater flows another route to their destination.

El Paso Water is investing millions to ensure El Paso’s wastewater system keeps functioning as it should. Five wastewater pipeline projects are under construction across the city. Together, they total more than $15 million worth of investment in this vital infrastructure.

Though some projects are focused on preparing for future growth, some will be replacements to ensure the existing wastewater system remains reliable for years to come. The average age of El Paso’s wastewater pipes is 45 years, and the utility sees the need to push that number down. 

West El Paso

One of those projects is the Miranda Wastewater Relief Line Project. This $4 million project will serve more than 5,600 homes, businesses and schools on the West Side near Franklin High School. For years, they have relied on one wastewater line to carry flows down the mountain to lift stations in the Upper Valley.

“All that wastewater currently goes into an existing 12-inch line that goes under the freeway” said Felipe Lopez, El Paso Water’s Chief Operations Officer. “That’s where the bottleneck starts.”

Crews are installing a new 18-inch wastewater line along Graphite Drive, Mace Street and Conley Road. It won’t replace the existing 12-inch line which has been in service since the 1970s; instead, it will give wastewater flows another route to their destination.

“This new 18-inch diameter sewer line is going to take about 2.8 million gallons of wastewater a day and transfer it to the Sunland Lift Station, bypassing Doniphan,” Lopez said. “So, it’s going to relieve a lot of congestion.”

If EPWater didn’t complete this project?

“There’s a potential of the sewer backing up so high that it will overflow onto the streets,” Lopez said. “We’re trying to prevent that.”

Work is scheduled to be completed in summer 2023.

Lower Valley

Crews install a new 18-inch wastewater line along Graphite Drive, Mace Street and Conley Road.Work is underway on the Alameda Avenue/Roseway Drive Wastewater Main Replacement. Crews are replacing about a mile of obsolete concrete wastewater mains with 8-inch and 12-inch PVC pipe. The existing main was constructed in 1963.

“This is a case in which existing infrastructure outlived its useful life,” Lopez said. “By proactively replacing the aging wastewater line, we minimize the likelihood of unexpected disruption in service.”   

Construction began in summer 2022 and is scheduled to be complete next month.

Much of the work on the $4 million project is being completed at night to minimize traffic interruptions along Alameda Avenue.

Both projects include public outreach to ensure people in the area are aware of the projects’ progress and construction impacts.

Other projects under construction include the Doniphan Collector, which will connect the Village of Vinton’s sewer system to the Bosque Lift Station and the replacement of an existing wastewater line along Bird Avenue.

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