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Central El Paso neighborhood sees two waterline breaks within weeks

A second water-line break happened on Cambridge Avenue on Sunday afternoon.

At least eight people’s service was affected but has been restored since, according to a spokesman with El Paso Water Utilities.

The first water-line break happened Nov. 15 and 10 people’s service was affected, according to EPWU.

"It affects us greatly. For one, we have to drink water; you can't wash dishes, you can't use the toilet, you can't shower. It interrupts life,” said resident Andres Marquez.

Both of the breaks happened to a 16-inch line, although it’s not clear if it’s the same line, according to EPWU.

Neighbors who live on Cambridge say crews fixed the first water-line break, but left pieces of equipment behind that affected their entrances to their homes.

When the second water-line break happened weeks later, crews returned to continue working in the area, according to neighbors.

EPWU officials said they’re investigating what caused the water-line breaks, but they’re aware the water lines on Cambridge Avenue are at least 30 years old, according to a spokesman.

EPWU sent us the following information:

“El Paso Water operates over 2,653 miles of water lines around El Paso. We estimate that 700 miles are 40 years or older. Every year, EPWater replaces several miles of pipes, prioritizing areas with the biggest needs. Leak detection is also a priority for El Paso Water. Since 2001, we have been using sensors on pipes across the city to detect leaks before they become breaks. Because we are proactive with the issue, EPWater averages 8 breaks per 100 miles of water lines, well below the national average of 25 breaks per 100 miles of water lines.”

EPWU said due to the size of El Paso’s water system, only select miles of water lines are within its budget.

“El Paso Water continues to call for increased funding on the state and federal level to help us with water line replacement and other infrastructure needs,” said a spokesman with EPWU through email.

Cambridge Avenue has been added to a priority list to fix the water lines, according to EPWU.

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