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Line blockage leads to wastewater spill, overflow contained

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso Water says it discovered a manhole leaking wastewater in South Central El Paso Monday morning and the overflow was contained by the afternoon.

It happened near south of the Spur 1966 interchange near the border.

According to El Paso water, its crews removed a large blockage from the wastewater line made of wipes, concrete and rags.

Nearby streets, homes or businesses were not impacted, but some of the wastewater flows did reach the riverbed.

El Paso Water estimates are that about 250,000 gallons were discharged onto the streets with a smaller amount making its way to the riverbed.

The utility is urging El Pasoans to be cognizant of what is put down the drain and the damage that it can cause.

“While this event had a limited impact on the riverbed, we are extremely sensitive to any wastewater in the riverbed, given the Frontera emergency last year,” said Gilbert Trejo, Interim Chief Operations Officer. “However, this event was a stark contrast to Frontera because it was identified and resolved within hours.”

No water or wastewater services were affected in the area. The public drinking water supply is not at risk since the Rio Grande is not currently in operation. El Paso’s river treatment plants stopped treating river water in September.

According to El Paso Water, No water or wastewater services were affected in the area. The public drinking water supply is not at risk since the Rio Grande is not currently in operation. El Paso’s river treatment plants stopped treating river water in September.

El Paso Water says that people using private drinking water supply wells located within half a mile of the spill site or within the potentially affected area should use only water that has been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses including drinking, cooking, bathing, and tooth brushing.

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Edwin Delgado

Edwin Delgado is an ABC-7 producer.

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