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Unfortunately, while no traces of E. coli were found in today’s test results, the presence of total coliforms means the earliest the boil water alert can be lifted is now pushed back to Friday afternoon.

The New Mexico Environment Department requires that two consecutive days of tests clear of any contaminant, not just E. coli, be achieved before a boil water order can be lifted.

Following is today’s press release issued by the City of Artesia:

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.  Results from tests received today were mixed, in that e-coli was negative, but one of the eight samples tested positive for Total Coliform.  Consequently, the Boil Water Alert remains in effect.

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 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 .