EL PASO, Texas - Since August, sewage from two broken pipelines in west El Paso has caused foul odors to permeate around the area, frustrating locals who live there. West side residents have even seen sewage making its way into their own homes-even inside their bathroom tubs. On Tuesday Jan. 11, the final step in fixing the west side sewage system was completed- fully operating the John T. Hickerson Reclamation Facility.
Before Tuesday, the Hickerson Facility was working at partial capacity, by collecting about 4 million gallons a day. A reclamation facility is where wastewater is collected and treated back to clean and safe running water once again. This fully functioning facility will collect about 10 million gallons of waste water a day, and clean the water using microbes known as "bugs" which eat the organic waste material according to EP Water.
But the frustration towards El Paso Water continues for Minar Jai, who lives on the west side. She told ABC-7 in her neighborhood near Emory and Frontera, the sewage smell has persisted even causing her to experience health issues such as extreme allergies and high blood pressure which caused her to visit the ER.
"We need help, as soon as possible," Jai stated, "you can't have people in your house, you can't have nobody because even if you close everything it comes from the top" (the AC vents). As Jai made her plea for help, she also stated how she should have good service from EP Water, as she's paid her bills for the past several years.
"When you pay your money, you need good service. As long as we pay, I have been living in this house for 22 years, I need good service. I never stopped paying because when the bill comes today the bill gets paid the next day. I need good service," Jai emphasized.
On December 29th, EP Water made the final connection on the Frontera pipeline which they hope will cause the foul sewage smell to go away over the next few weeks. After Tuesday, the sewage will flow freely through their updated John T. Hickerson pump facility, and the sewage making it's way into the Rio Grande will end.
ABC-7 will continue to follow this story, and will update it accordingly.