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EP Water says sewage will still flow into Rio Grande for at least another month

EL PASO, Texas -- Nearly two months to the day that a pair of wastewater pipelines ruptured in west El Paso, the city's Public Service Board received an update Wednesday on repair efforts that remain ongoing.

In late August, the two pipelines broke between Sunland Park and Doniphan drives and the ruptures caused a back up that sent wastewater into homes and spilled it into the streets; the smell in that area continues to reek.

As a result, El Paso Water officials made the decision to divert wastewater into the Rio Grande, with a total of 600 million gallons going into the river over a 50-day period. That's enough wastewater to fill 909 Olympic-size swimming pools.

According to Gilbert Trejo, the chief technical director for EP Water, discharges of wastewater into the Rio Grande will continue at a rate of about 19 million gallons per day for at least another month - until pipeline work is completed.

He said the south pipeline was expected to come back online later this week; EP Water suffered a setback when the repaired line ruptured for a second time on Oct. 6.

Meantime, a totally new north pipeline had to be installed; that installation is currently 81% finished and is expected to be completed by Nov. 19.

EP Water officials indicated the new line is being made out of fiber glass, which should protect it from corrosion, however a shortage of fiber glass materials has caused work delays.




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