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Borderland agencies join forces to protect El Paso’s water

Officials say that, within the last year, more than 140,000 pounds of trash were illegally dumped in waterways and open spaces across the Borderland, and they’re asking for help from El Pasoans.

Three Borderland agencies are coming together and launching a brand new campaign on Thursday to try and protect El Paso’s water.

Officials say that, within the last year, more than 140,000 pounds of trash were illegally dumped in waterways and open spaces across the Borderland, and they’re asking for help from El Pasoans.

At Thursday’s campaign launch, El Paso Water, the city’s Environmental Services Department, and the county’s Water Improvement District will unveil a sculpture made from illegally dumped trash as well as showcase piles of trash discovered in arroyos.

As part of the campaign, they’ll be on the radio and posting outdoor signs asking El Pasoans to be watchful, take a stand, and report illegal dumping.

Cesar Hinojosa of West El Paso says that’s important for the Borderland, telling KFOX14, “We live in the desert, so we have to take care of our water.”

Hinojosa graduated with a Civil Engineering degree from UTEP and says he learned a lot about El Paso’s water. “What they taught us there is that we have the cleanest water in the United States,” he said.

He says that living in the desert, the city filters and reuses water and illegal dumping complicates that.

"Let's say for example if I throw a wrapper here, it all goes down the drain and it still goes to the same place where we clean the water,” he said, “So even just picking up a piece of paper and throwing it in the trash where it goes, helps a lot."

Illegal dumping doesn’t only affect our drinking water, on Wedesnday KFOX14 reported on water overflowing from a canal in the Upper Valley. Water made its way into backyards and pools and El Paso County Water Improvement District says that canal was clogged by trash and debris.

The three groups behind the illegal dumping campaign are asking El Pasoans to call 311 if they witness illegal dumping.

Their campaign launch is expected to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday.

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