HomeTop StoriesPecos will start overhauling outdated water pipes

Pecos will start overhauling outdated water pipes

May 29—PECOS — After years of being plagued by deteriorating water pipes, the Village of Pecos has raised millions of dollars to replace its half-century-old pipes.

State officials and the mayor of Pecos held a groundbreaking ceremony in the village Wednesday to cheer the long-awaited start of a project to overhaul aging pipes that have not functioned reliably in years.

Approximately $1.75 million will cover the first of three phases of the project, which will start immediately and be completed within 120 days.

The pipes have been damaged and rusted over time as the protective galvanized coating has worn away, leading to frequent leaks and breakages.

This groundbreaking initiative represents a decade-long effort to secure funding to ensure the Village has an adequate and clean water supply into the future, said Mayor Telesfor “Ted” Benavidez.

“The completion of this project will pave the way for a more resilient and vibrant Pecos,” Benevides said, standing in front of a plot of land where the first underground pipes will be replaced. “For too long, we have been at the mercy of an aging system that threatens the health and safety of our community.”

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In total, the village has received $6.25 million to replace water mains from the New Mexico Finance Authority, the state Department of Finance and Administration, the Legislature and the governor’s office.

A prime example of Pecos’ infrastructure issues came in early 2020, when the village broke its water main four times in one weekend, leaving 200 residents without water and issuing an advisory to boil water for at least a minute before drinking it. was drunk, cooked or cleaned.

The defective pipes are now causing repeated problems in this village of about 1,300 inhabitants.

“It’s gotten to the point where there are breaks all the time,” Jaclyn Apodaca, a Pecos spokeswoman, said of the project. “Even the mayor and local officials go out every day to repair water pipes themselves.”

The upgrades will improve drinking water delivery, commercial use and fire suppression, Apodaca said.

The first phase will cover the heart of Pecos, replacing pipes along a three-quarter mile stretch from the core area to Royal Oak Ranch Road.

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“This community has been working on this for many, many years,” said Sen. Liz Stefanics, D-Cerrillos. “We’re a little behind on the project. We were hoping it would be closer to the end, but we’ve started.”

Apodaca said the collective funding should pay for most of the work that will be done in all three phases, but added that as construction costs continue to rise, it is always difficult to know whether there might be a shortage will be money.

“We will do the best we can with the resources we have, but we are always asking for more,” she said.

Rebecca Roose, the governor’s infrastructure adviser, praised the community’s perseverance in seeking funding to solve nagging water supply problems.

“We wish it was easy and that we all had a magic wand to wave and make our infrastructure dreams a reality,” Roose said. “The fact is, it takes a lot of work.”

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