El Paso, TX – El Paso Water has already broke ground on a manmade pond that will greatly improve stormwater management in Central El Paso. The project would reduce the flood risk along I-10 and neighboring streets.

In the past, this part of the interstate could turn into a giant lake during heavy rainstorms.

The $2.4 million project will create Copia Pond, right behind the eastern dead end of Lebanon Avenue. This project is a long time coming, as El Paso Water had planned to build this pond in the past, but had trouble with land acquisition in the densely populated area.

"The easiest way to explain it is it will collect water off the streets, hold it in the pond, and after the storm passes… and if there is any minor street flooding that may occur just the storm passes we’ll start to release the water slowly," says Gilbert Trejo, Chief Technical Officer of El Paso Water

El Paso Water says the pond will be able to hold up to eight million gallons of water before underground pipes discharge the water into the nearby gateway ponds near Interstate ten.

Trejo also emphasizes the importance of keeping arroyos clear of trash. Illegal dumping of trash and debris has clogged storm drains in the past, resulting in worse flooding.

"Over 140,000 pounds of trash gets dumped into our system. All that makes it into our pipes, the drains and clogs up the system, and really leads to a lot of the flooding we see around town," says Trejo.

To report illegal dumping you can call 311.

El Paso Water expects the project to be completed by the spring of 2019.

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