General Information

The El Paso Water Utilities has a centralized purchasing system though physically it is decentralized. The Utility procures the bulk of its daily operational supplies, equipment and/or services through its outlying plants and other sites. Purchases that require a formal bid process are advertised in the El Paso Times, Monday through Friday. These formal bids are posted at various sites: The entrance of the administration building; the Dodge Room; the Small Business Development Center at the El Paso Community College and our web page on the Internet. The web page address for the Utility is www.epwu.org. In addition, companies who have expressed an interest in bidding on our requirements are notified through E-mail or a fax that the bid is available.

Cone of Silence:

The "Cone of Silence" is imposed upon each RFP, RFQ or Bid after advertising. The Cone of Silence prohibits communications with EPWU employees to attempt to influence the purchasing decision. As such, the Cone of Silence prohibits any communication regarding RFP's, RFQ's or Bids between, among others:

  • Potential vendors, service providers, bidders, or consultants and EPWU employees.
  • Potential vendors, service providers, bidders, or consultants, any member of the Board, the President/CEO, or their respective staff and members of the respective selection committee.

The provisions do not apply to, among other communications:

  • Oral communications with Purchasing Agent or Administrative Analyst, provided the communications is limited strictly to matters of process or procedure already contained the solicitation document;
  • The provisions of the Cone of Silence do not apply to oral communications at pre-proposal or pre-bid conferences, oral presentations before selection committees, contract negotiations during duly notice public meeting, public presentations made to the President/CEO and Board members during a duly noticed public meeting; or
  • Communications in writing at any time unless specifically prohibited by the applicable, RFP, RFQ or bid document.

In addition to any other penalties provided by law, violation of the Cone of Silence by any proposer or bidder shall render that proposer's or bidder's RFP, RFQ or bid award voidable. Any person having personal knowledge of a violation of these provisions shall report such violations to the EPWU General Counsel and the Purchasing Agent.

The "Cone of Silence" applies to any and all potential subcontractors as well.


Purchasing Information

Purchases Up to $ 1,500

Non-routine items for less than fifty ($50) dollars are currently being purchased with either petty cash or the El Paso Water Utilities Credit Card. The Utility has implemented a credit card system for these purchases up to fifteen hundred dollars.

Only purchases up to $1,500 within El Paso County will be approved. Purchases shall not be split-divided over a period of time to get under $1,500 and then making multiple purchases.

The following procedures shall apply:

Within El Paso County:

  • If the company does accept credit cards, make the purchase and follow the procedures for credit card purchases.
  • If the company does not accept credit cards, one signed quote and a requisition shall be provided to Purchasing.

Outside of El Paso County:

  • If the company accepts credit cards, provide a signed quote and forward to Purchasing with a request to purchase the item(s) with the credit cards. Purchasing shall make the purchase.
  • If the company does not accept credit cards, one signed quote and a requisition shall be provided to Purchasing.

Purchases Up to $ 3,000

For purchases up to $ 3,000, one signed quote is required. It is recommended that quotes be obtained from a small locally-owned, minority or woman-owned business enterprise.

Purchases Over $ 3,000 and Less Than $ 50,000

Three written quotes are required - two must be from a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB). The definition of a Historically Underutilized Business follows:

  1. A corporation formed for the purpose of making a profit in which at least 51 percent of all classes of the shares of stock or other equitable securities are owned by one or more persons who have been historically underutilized (socially disadvantaged) because of their identification as members of certain groups, including, but not limited to : Black Americans; Hispanic Americans; Women; Asian Pacific Americans; and Native Americans who have a proportionate interest and demonstrate active participation in the control, operation and management of the corporations affairs.
  2. A sole proprietorship created for the purpose of making a profit that is 100 percent owned, operated and controlled by a person in 1 above.
  3. A partnership formed for the purpose of making a profit in which 51 percent of the assets and interest in the partnership is owned by one or more persons described in 1 above and have a proportionate interest and demonstrate active participation in the control, operation and management of the partnerships affairs.
  4. A joint venture in which each entity in the joint venture is a historically underutilized business.
  5. A supplier contract between a HUB and a prime contractor in which the business is directly involved in the manufacture or distribution of the supplies or materials or otherwise warehouses and ships the supplies.

If a HUB vendor is not available for a specific commodity, then the Utility is free to contact any three vendors for a quote. Both routine and emergency requirements which are needed immediately shall be handled as described above.

Purchases Over $ 50,000

Formal bids for supplier material and/or services over $50,000 are required by State law.



Prequalification - Architect/Engineer

Architect and Engineering firms may become prequalified by submitting a Statement of Qualifications using the provided forms below. All forms must be complete and submitted to the Chief Technical Officer at EPWU. Firms may amend their SOQs at any time by submitting only the changes and updates.

To become prequalified download and submit the following required forms: Statement of Qualifications (EPWU Format)