Colonias are substandard housing developments, often found along the Texas-Mexico border, where residents lack basic services such as drinking water, sewage treatment and paved roads. Most colonia residents use on-site sanitary systems, such as septic tanks, to manage their wastewater; however, the installation of these systems often goes unregulated, resulting in improperly constructed and poorly maintained systems. Most colonia residents without access to running water rely on wells to obtain their water. However, having been constructed in a largely unregulated environment, the water in those wells is subject to contamination from a number of sources, including on-site septic systems.
The State of Texas has undertaken a number of programs to remedy the conditions in existing colonias and to prevent new colonias. In 1999, the State sponsored a plan to secure funding for residential water and wastewater hookups in seven communities that had, or would soon provide, access to a centralized water and wastewater systems in local colonias, but where residents were unable to afford connections on their own. One of the communities included in the plan was Combes, Texas.
In the case of Combes, the project consisted of installing up to 728 residential wastewater and 35 residential water connections. The project also included an outreach program for the purpose of identifying eligible residents and assisting them in filling out service applications and agreements.
The project provided first-time water and wastewater service to 613 households, reducing the health risks associated with substandard well construction and unregulated on-site sewage treatment.
|Total Project Cost||US 0.82M|
US 0.82M - NADBank Grant: BEIF