EL PASO, TX – The bill for water service in the city of El Paso, Texas will see a nine-dollar increase beginning March 2023.
El Paso Water reported that after obtaining approval from the Board of Public Utilities on January 11, it will draw down a record water and wastewater capital improvement budget to increase system reliability and future water supply.
The company noted that the combined $954 million for the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Water/Wastewater and Stormwater budgets will amount to a $9.03 per month increase in the typical residential rate effective March 1, the start of the fiscal year.
“We have some very specific needs to move forward with new water supply projects and expand our Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant. The growth of the East Side has brought the plant to a threshold that requires an urgent increase in capacity so that we can service the growing number of homes and businesses in the area,” said EPWater President and CEO John Balliew.
The major investment is focused on the 31-year-old Bustamante plant, which treats 39 million gallons per day but must be expanded to 51 million gallons per day. Estimated costs over five years will amount to $730 million, the utility said.
Balliew said $428 million will be for water and wastewater pipelines, reservoirs, plants and pump stations to be replaced and rehabilitated; $53 million will be for rehabilitation and construction of new wells, as well as the Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project in northeast El Paso.
Another $70 million will be for projects focused on building new ponds and upgrading existing ponds and outfall pipelines.
In addition, EPWater will break ground on three new water supply projects in 2023, the expansion of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant, construction of the first phase of the Aquifer Storage and Recharge Project, and preparations for construction of the Advanced Water Purification Plant.