The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority and the Carnuel Mutual Domestic Water and Waste Water Consumer Association broke ground on Phase I of the Carnuel Water System Improvements Project, which will bring safe, reliable drinking water and fire protection to an area facing serious water challenges.

The $3.4-million first phase includes 3.3 mi of pipeline that will connect 31 customers in the Carnuel area to the Water Authority�s existing water supply. It is partially funded via ARRA. Salls Brothers Construction of Albuquerque is the contractor with Bohannan Huston Inc. as the designer and engineering consultant for the project, expected to be completed by November.

Residents of the Carnuel area, including Echo Canyon and Monticello, currently rely on private wells that are shallow and often co-exist with poorly functioning, old septic systems. Additional phases will provide another 140 water connections to area residents. The next phase is scheduled to start in September, depending on the availability of funds.