By Cassie McClure
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News and Las Cruces Bulletin 3.11.22
Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) services and facilities are spread out throughout the city and without seeing some of the areas in person, it may be hard to wrap a mind around what all LCU does. For new City Councilors - District 3 City Councilor Becki Graham and District 5 City Councilor Becky Corran – along with new members of LCU Board of Commissioners and Capital Improvements Advisory Committee (CIAC), boots on the ground enable a better understanding.
At the Jorge A. Garcia Water Quality Laboratory, Graham and Corran with CIAC Members Steve Newby and Don Curnutt and LCU Board Commissioner Raymond Hickman could see how Class A+ compost is produced by the wastewater treatment process, where microorganisms work through what residents contribute.
Heading out to the West Mesa Industrial Park Wastewater Treatment Facility, the tour members were able to see how the biosolids are converted into compost through “cooking” it as the microbial activity works through the material in large piles.
The tour stopped at two regulator stations of the natural gas system, which changes the high pressure from the cross-country transmission pipeline to the safe pressures that arrive at a home.
Back at the Utilities building on Motel Boulevard, the tour’s last stop was the Solid Waste Fleet shop where LCU staff explained how they have mechanics taking care of all the various heavy equipment that LCU uses daily, from trash trucks to the green waste chipper.
LCU – Your Utility Connection. Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: las-cruces.org/180/Utilities
For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO 1: LCU Board Commissioner Raymond Hickman examines the pressure valves at the Tillman Regulator Station out at the West Mesa.
PHOTO 2: CIAC Member Steve Newby sees what comes into the West Mesa Industrial Park Wastewater Treatment Facility, which also houses one of the City’s photovoltaic systems.
PHOTO 3: LCU shows off the “sniffer” truck which the gas crew uses to patrol City streets for leaks.
PHOTO 4: From waste to “black gold” compost, a small scale version of the steps LCU takes to reuse materials removed from wastewater.