U.S. Water News Online
EL PASO, Texas -- A desalination plant officials say is the
world's largest outside a coastal area and is expected to supply this
desert city with water for 50 years has opened for business.
The opening of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant, named
for Texas' senior U.S. senator, marked the end of a 15-year project
to design, fund and build the plant that eventually will be capable
of supplying 27.5 million gallons of drinking water daily.
The El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board will operate the
$87 million plant.
The plant will treat brackish, or salty, water pumped from
hundreds of feet below the ground, where the supply was considered
worthless before the plant was built. A series of wells and more than
two dozen miles of pipeline will connect the plant to the aquifer,
which sits under Fort Bliss, the city's neighboring Army post.
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