Home News Local News Solution to Artesia’s water problem appears to be near

Solution to Artesia’s water problem appears to be near

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ARTESIA — It appears the City of Artesia is getting close to solving problems that have been plaguing its water system for the past few months.

Earlier this year, residents were under two boil water advisories after E. coli was found in the city’s water system. Water tests have been sent out to various labs in the state as samples are tested on a regular basis.

Tuesday night the Artesia City Council was updated on the water situation.

Raul Rodriguez, who represents District 1, said the council has approved a budget adjustment of $72,000 to purchase some emergency equipment.

“We’re going to have to buy the equipment that we’re going to have to station at three wells, these are portable stations that we will be able to put (chlorine) tablets in there to put a small dose of chlorination to disinfect municipal water,” he said.

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A city council committee has been meeting for the past few months on what would be the best way to treat the system without having to repeat the boil water alerts.

Rodriguez and other councilors have been hearing from residents who don’t want the water treated with chlorine on a permanent basis.

“We’re trying to be proactive,” he said. “We’re trying to be in a position where we’re not reacting to an emergency situation and the boil alerts and people are up in arms about it.”

Rodriguez added, “we would hope that we could have some support from the community, this was a hard decision, it was not an easy decision by no means. But we do need to be proactive in the situation to try and prepare our citizens.”

Rodriguez said the last thing he wants is another E. coli positive test during the holidays, “and city employees are out there working overtime and trying to get the situation handled and putting businesses at risk by not being open during the holidays. It’s not going to be easy, but I think during the past two incidents we have learned to cooperate with the situation itself.”

Rodriguez said Artesia residents will be able to attend a town hall meeting in January that will address the situation.

“We want to invite everyone to be in attendance,” he said. “That decision will determine the permanent decision that we will need to make for our city, understand disinfection is just a temporary fix.”

He said a permanent solution is expected to cost the city more than the $72,000 budget adjustment approved by the council.

Rodriguez added if Artesia residents have any further questions about the water situation they may contact their respective councilor.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.