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The City of Artesia reports that while tests taken Saturday were negative for E. coli, once again a test positive for total coliforms has briefly delayed the lifting of the boil water order.
 
Tests taken Sunday, however, were entirely clear of all contaminants, meaning if samples collected today come back clear Tuesday afternoon, the order will be lifted.
 
Below is the press release issued just now by the City of Artesia.
 
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Since the Boil Water Alert was issued by the State of New Mexico Drinking Water Bureau, the City of Artesia Water Department has been working to eradicate e-coli from the water system. The Alert was implemented on Saturday, September 15 when tests confirmed the presence of e-coli in our system. Results from tests run and received yesterday were mixed, in that e-coli was negative, but one of the eight samples tested positive for Total Coliform.
 
Positive tests for Total Coliform are not unusual and do not cause Boil Water Alerts to be implemented. Total Coliforms are a group of related bacteria that are (with few exceptions) not harmful to humans. However, since the Boil Water Alert is in place, it is the requirement of the State of New Mexico Environment Department to require two consecutive days of clear testing to lift the Alert.
 
Test results run and received today included no positive tests for either e-coli or Total Coliform and thus is the first clear day of all bacteria. Samples were sent to the lab today and we anticipate these results to be received by 4:00 PM tomorrow, Tuesday, September 19. City crews will continue to be available to monitor senior citizen residents, nursing home facilities, the meal site and daycare centers. Residents with hardships and/or unable to secure a source of water should call 575-746-9821 or 575-748-0267.
 
The Boil Water Alert remains in effect which states that water to be consumed, used for cooking or washing fruits and vegetables must be boiled for a minimum of one minute before being used. City water continues to be safe for bathing, showering, washing clothes and watering lawns and plants. Ice made from the City water system should not be used. This includes residential ice makers as well as commercial and restaurant ice.
Additional information about a Boil Water Alert can be found by going on line to www.env.nm.gov/dwb/Documents/boil.