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July 21, 2017
6:30 PM

City Water Department crews continued the process of flushing chlorine through the water system in various parts of the community last night (Thursday).  As has been the practice for the past few days, 10 water samples were taken today and sent to the lab in Hobbs for analysis.  The conference call with the State of New Mexico Drinking Water Bureau (DWB), a division of the Environment Department, was conducted this morning with all parties continuing to agree on the actions being taken by the Artesia Water Department.

Of the 10 samples sent to the Hobbs lab yesterday, all 10 were reported clear (negative) of e-coli.  However, one sample tested positive for Total Coliform which is bacteria found in soil.  It is not unusual to have a positive Total Coliform test during normal testing.  However, after considering today’s test results, the Drinking Water Bureau of the New Mexico Environment Department late this afternoon (Friday) has determined that the requirement of having two consecutive days of clear testing will remain in place.

Therefore, until further notice the Boil Water Alert issued by the State of New Mexico last Saturday will continue in force.  Water that is to be consumed, used in cooking and to wash fruits and vegetables must be boiled for a minimum of one minute before using.  City water can safely be used to wash clothes, shower, bathe or water plants and lawns.  Bottled water from retail establishments can be used.  Ice made using water from the City water system should not be used.  This includes residential ice makers as well as commercial and restaurant ice.  However, ice made outside of Artesia should be safe for consumption.

City crews are continuing to flush the system by allowing fire hydrants to flow in various parts of town in an effort to move water through the system and bring fresh water in.  All tanks have been inspected and tested with satisfactory results.  Testing will continue as agreed with the State of New Mexico.  City personnel will continue to monitor senior citizen residents, nursing home facilities, the meal site and daycare centers to assure these are following the alert procedures and have ample supplies of bottled water.  Artesia residents with hardships and unable to secure another water source, should call 575-746-9821  or 575-748-0267 for City personnel to respond.  Additional information about a Boil Water Alert can be found by going on line to www.env.nm.gov/dwb/Documents/boil