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Los Padillas Water Project Underway

11/02/2017

This news release is from the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.

Construction on a highly anticipated project to bring municipal drinking water to the historic South Valley neighborhood of Los Padillas got under way Oct. 22.

The project's first phase will consist of four segments, the first of which is on Sanchez Road east of Isleta Boulevard (see map). Water Authority crews will be installing about 12,500 linear feet of pipe over the next four to six months. Property owners in the Phase 1 project area will have the option of connecting to the municipal water supply once construction is complete.

Bernalillo County and the Water Authority have teamed up to plan and finance the project, the total cost of which is expected to be $4-5 million.  Bernalillo County is contributing about $1.65 million for Phase 1, with the Water Authority contributing labor and another $250,000 toward construction.  Additional phases will occur as funding becomes available.

“This is a high-impact project that will change many lives for the better,” said Steven Michael Quezada, the District 2 Bernalillo County Commissioner who helped secure funds for the project.  “[Many residents] are concerned about the quality of the drinking water drawn from their shallow private wells, and they are looking to government to assist them.”

State Rep. G. Andrés Romero, who was born and raised in Los Padillas and now represents the neighborhood in the Legislature, has been an avid supporter of the project, along with State Rep. Patricio Ruiloba.

“I have known the frustration of my neighbors and constituents regarding the lack of water service in the area,” Romero said.  “So it was with great enthusiasm that I joined with Bernalillo County and the Water Authority in championing a plan to alleviate this problem once and for all.”

Klarissa Peña, a City Councilor from the South Valley and Chair of the Water Authority Board, said the project is a great example of inter-governmental cooperation.

“We’re very glad to be working with Bernalillo County and our partners in state government on the extension of water service to a South Valley community rooted in New Mexico history,” she said. “I especially want to thank Representatives Romero and Ruiloba for their commitment to working together to secure future dollars to ensure this project’s success.”

About 3,000 people live in Los Padillas, where shallow domestic wells are associated with potential public health problems stemming from leaking underground petroleum storage tanks, septic tank effluent, and agricultural irrigation.  Households connecting to the new water supply will still be able to keep private wells for irrigation.   

View a map of the project below.

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