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Artesia expected to decide soon on chlorine machine

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Artesia District 3 City Councilor Jeff Youtsey talks about water conservation during a water Town Hall meeting Thursday night. (Mike Smith Photo)

ARTESIA — The city of Artesia appears to be getting closer to approving a machine that would chlorinate the community water system on a full-time basis.

Thursday night members of the Artesia City Council held a Town Hall meeting to discuss the water situation in the community.

Last summer traces of E. coli were found a couple of different times in the Artesia water supply. That prompted tap water to be boiled by residents and businesses and the flushing of the system.

During Thursday’s meeting, those in attendance heard presentations from Occam Engineers and Brian Bokowy from AllChem Performance Products.

Those in attendance were presented with the various machines that are out there and how they work to chlorinate a water system like Artesia’s. They heard the pros and cons of each machine that city leaders are looking at.

District 1 City Councilor Raul Rodriguez liked the presentations from both companies.

“I think that this was a much clearer explanation of the process or the available processes that we will have in order to choose one that is best for our city and for its water system.”

Rodriguez doesn’t sit on the Artesia City Council’s Infrastructure Committee. Those members were front-and-center along with Mayor Phil Burch during Thursday’s meeting. Rodriguez was in the audience.

“I think we’re probably going to vote on it in February,” Rodriguez said. “That will give us one more meeting for the council and the Infrastructure Department to get together and have a question and answer session and it will probably be in February that we will establish a permanent system.”

Infrastructure Director Byron Landfair said the price tag for eight units is expected to cost $250,000.

Along with chlorination machines, the Town Hall also addressed water rates.

“The infrastructure committee is looking at new water rates,” Mayor Burch said. “It won’t change the structure we’ve had for a number of years,” he added.

He pointed out that Artesia has some of the lowest water rates in the state.

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