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Frank M. Tejeda Center

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Established in 1999 to improve the public health and quality of life in U.S.-Mexico border communities. The Tejeda Center enhances the effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of water and wastewater utility operations focusing predominately on economically distressed areas within 100 kilometers of the border.

Two bilingual project managers, located in El Paso and Laredo, conduct the day-to-day operations of the center. They are responsible for expanding the focus of the center activities to meet the needs of the small communities in providing safe drinking water and proper disposal of their wastewater.

The Tejeda Center supports the State Drinking Water Protection Program. This program provides hands-on technical assistance to small local and rural communities in the West and South Texas Regions. System operators and maintenance technicians will learn:

  • configuration of individual systems
  • water sampling techniques and protocols
  • how to ensure samples taken are true and accurate
  • how to ensure chlorine levels are kept at an acceptable level

This training is taught on location to allow communities with limited staff the ability to receive this technical assistance and training. Visit the EPA website on State Drinking Water Protection Program for additional information.

Mission

Serve four U.S. states and six Mexican states along the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border, with project managers living and working in the communities they serve.

Provide training and technical assistance to increase the managerial and fiscal capabilities of small communities, helping them to better manage their finances and generate higher revenues. Due to limited resources found in the small communities, the on-site technical assistance visits greatly enhance the understanding of the operations of their systems regardless of their condition.

Act as a conduit to promote the construction and upgrade of needed infrastructure while helping communities to minimize cost overruns and costly project delays.

Looking Ahead

We plan to expand the value of the center’s program in the border region and throughout Texas by:

  • developing a new and robust marketing plan for the center;
  • enhancing liaison activities with U. S. Environmental Protection Association (EPA) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ);
  • providing basic water and wastewater classes, to include the required testing (English & Spanish);
  • increase training and technical assistance in the East Texas region;
  • institute a “circuit rider” program with an eight-hour class to address the implementation of the latest updates to the rules and regulations for management and operations of water and wastewater systems;
  • be an active participant/partner in both the Laredo Environmental Summit and the Border 2020program;
  • develop special projects in the small communities in the border area that focus on enhanced technical assistance and training for their water and wastewater systems; and
  • work to enhance the coverage of the Drinking Water Protection Program by supporting and participating in the Water Training Expo’s in South Padre Island, Lubbock, San Angelo, College Station, and Lufkin.
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