Stormwater crews heed monsoons year-round

Stormwater crews heed monsoons year-round
Posted on 06/17/2019
Stormwater Prep

When El Paso Water stormwater crews arrived to prepare an east El Paso detention pond for the monsoon season, they knew they would have to mow grass, remove weeds, trim palo verde plants and fill slopes damaged by erosion. But they also had to pick up tires, construction debris, trash, a street sign, a bed box spring and even a microwave.

“Unfortunately, people continue to illegally dump large items into our stormwater systems,” said Enrique Ochoa, Stormwater Engineering Division Manager. “Trash causes stormwater drains and channels to become blocked, resulting in flooding onto nearby streets and property.”

El Pasoans have rain storms on their mind, especially with the recent lightning and thunderstorms. However, EPWater crews work on El Paso’s stormwater system year-round. So when storm events occur, they are available to respond quickly to public requests to pump water and remove debris. The illegally-dumped trash not only slows down the process, but it also hurts the system.

“Our ponds typically remove the water collected by draining away from the area, filtering into the ground and/or evaporating in the heat,” said Gisela Dagnino, Engineering Division Manager for Stormwater Technical Services. “When people illegally dump, the ponds don’t work as designed, creating safety hazards during the monsoon.”

In addition to servicing EPWater’s 432 ponding areas, stormwater crews also maintain 81 miles of drains and channels and are also responsible for servicing 41 dams and basins, nearly 7,000 storm drain inlets and over 300 miles of conduits.

“If you see trash dumped in our waterways, please report it to 311,” Ochoa said. “We love El Paso and are asking everyone to protect our public spaces, public waterways and public safety.”

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