EP County: First time water service for 130 homes

by Daniela Pardo, originally posted on December 16, 2016


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – More than 130 homes in Far East El Paso County could be one step closer to having their own water system for the first time.

The homes at the Hillcrest Estates and Hillcrest Center subdivisions are less than a mile away from city limits, near Zaragoza Rd. and Montana Ave.

The County’s Public Works Department is applying for a grant with the USDA that can change the way residents get their water.

NewsChannel 9 spoke to County Commissioner Vince Perez who represents the precinct where the colonias are. He says it’s one of the largest colonias in the county that still doesn’t have access to drinking water. Residents use water storage tanks, with a capacity of 2,500 gallons.

“While their neighbors have access to these basic amenities that everybody should have access to, they’ve been without it for decades,” adds Perez.

We talked to Gabriel Olivas, who has been living at the colonia for more than 12 years.

Olivas says the water situation is frustrating and he’s thought about moving twice because it’s tough and expensive to fill the tanks every month.

“That’s great news. Those are prayers being answered for a long time. I mean I’m going to tell my wife, she doesn’t know, but it’s something that we never thought was going to happen,” said Olivas, when we told him about the grant the county is applying for.

The proposed project would provide a permanent connection to the EPWU water system from Zaragoza Rd.

Commissioner Perez says the estimated cost of the project is $13.5-million.

On Monday, County Commissioners will discuss this item and Judge Veronica Escobar is expected to sign the grant application.

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