RUIDOSO – The New Mexico Environment Department and the New Mexico Department of Health are hosting a free Domestic Well Water Testing event in Ruidoso today at Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso.
Well owners are encouraged to periodically test their drinking water, although such tests can be costly, starting at $150.
The event will be at the Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso Campus, 709 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso, from 9 a.m. to noon today. These free well water tests will be offered on a first‐come, first‐served basis to the first 200 participants, or while supplies are available. Test results will be mailed to households following the event.
This money‐saving opportunity is the chance for area households to check pH, specific conductance, and the levels of fluoride, iron, sulfate, and nitrate in their well water. These constituents may be naturally occurring or result from sources including fertilizer, animal waste, and septic tanks. Drinking water with high levels of nitrate can be dangerous to pregnant women and infants, while other contaminants may lead to aesthetic nuisances and other health problems.
Additionally, well owners will be able to check the arsenic level in their water, which is not commonly included in general testing. Arsenic occurs naturally in the Southwest and has been measured in water from certain private wells in New Mexico at concentrations that exceed recommended drinking water quality health standards.
To have water tested, residents need to bring a sample of their water to the event. The departments suggest:
• Fill a clean glass or plastic container, without any strong odors, with at least a quart or liter of your well water.
• Collect the water before it runs through any water treatment or filters such as an R.O., a carbon filter, or a water softener. If the home has a whole house filtration system, collect the water at the well head.
• Let the water run for a couple of minutes before collecting the sample.
• Fill the container with the water as close to the time of testing as possible.
If well owners are unable to attend the event but would like to have their water tested, they may have their sample brought to the event by a family member or neighbor as long as the bottle is clearly labeled with their name, phone number, and address and information about the well is attached. The departments will only test water that comes from homes that rely on private wells for drinking water. Water from households that are connected to city/community/public water system is periodically tested and those results are available at dww.water.net.env.nm.gov/DWW/. For more information about this water testing opportunity, contact the environment department at 505‐827‐2797.