El Paso Water

The City of El Paso has a distinct culture, climate and supply of resources that makes water consumption unique among similar cities in the desert southwest. El Paso is located on the northern extreme of the Chihuahuan Desert, and lies on the frontier of three states and two countries. El Paso Water Utilities serves about 220,000 customers with diverse water supply sources including both fresh and brackish groundwater, Rio Grande water, and reclaimed water. Since 1985, the Hueco Bolson Recharge Project has produced water that meets drinking water standards for aquifer injection and infiltration. The water is treated at the Fred Hervey Water Reclamation plant, which receives raw (untreated) municipal wastewater and uses a ten-step treatment process that includes screening, degritting, clarification, equalization, flow equalization, two-stage recarbonation, sand filtration, ozonation, GAC filtration and chlorination and storage.

But the Fred Hervey Water Reclamation Plant is just one part of the El Paso Public Utilities Board’s water resource management strategy. El Paso is also in the permitting stage to design and build an Advanced Water Purification Facility. A pilot facility has been built and testing is in process. The goal is to build a full-scale facility by 2019-20 that will produce about 10 million gallons of purified water per day. The Advanced Water Purification Facility will be next door to the existing Roberto Bustamante wastewater treatment plant. Highly treated wastewater will go through a redundant four-step treatment process to turn it into purified water before it enters the distribution system. The Advanced Water Purification Facility will give El Paso a drought-proof source of safe, clean water that meets all drinking water standards. El Paso Public Utilities also operates the TecH2O Water Resources Learning Center, where visitors gain an understanding and appreciation of total water management in the Chihuahuan Desert.