El Paso

Project to improve water quality in Montana Vista neighborhood still in the works

Project to improve water quality in...

EL PASO, Texas - Martin Lozoya has lived in Montana Vista for over 15 years and he said he's had to drink bottled water the whole time.

"The tap water tastes like chlorine. It's got a distinct taste," Lozoya said in Spanish. "I drink three to four water bottles a day. I'm constantly buying water."

The Far East El Paso Colonia will be getting cleaner water, but it's still about a year away. In April, the County of El Paso approved a $500,000 grant agreement with the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission (BECC) to improve the water distribution system in the Vista Del Este neighborhood. The County also contributed $1 million to the project.

"The specifications for the bid is being put together," Precinct 3 county commissioner Vince Perez said. "We hope that by early next year, by January, this project should be well underway."

This project is expected to affect 335 homes and about 1,100 people by providing cleaner water and better sewage.

"These are things that we take for granted living in the city where there's generally good infrastructure," Perez  said. "You turn on the shower and water comes out. You turn on the sink and water comes out. That's not the case for a lot of people in the County."

Eduardo Ruelas and his family have lived in Montana Vista for eight years. He said he looks forward to the pipe improvements.

"We don't drink water from the faucet. We buy water bottles," Ruelas said. "It just tastes funny, like it has dirt in it."

Ruelas said his family goes through three cases of water per day during the Summer.

"To wait another year, that's the bad thing because people have to go out and buy water," Ruelas said. "It's a lot of costs."

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