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State agency conducts surprise test of CRRUA water, finds sample with arsenic levels above federal maximum

Pixabay via MGN

SANTA FE, New Mexico (KVIA) -- The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is releasing the results of its unannounced arsenic sampling of the Camino Real Regional Utility Authority's drinking water conducted on March 15, 2024.

Laboratory results showed that nine of the ten drinking water samples came in below the federal Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). The tenth sample, taken from CRRUA's industrial park, exceeded the MCL.

"This exceedance of the arsenic drinking water standard is further evidence that violations have occurred at CRRUA," a NMED spokesperson stated.

NMED says that the EPA puts standards like this into place to protect consumers.

"Public drinking water systems, like CRRUA, were obligated to comply with the current arsenic drinking water standard level as of January 23, 2006 – over 18 years ago."

You can see the results for yourself below:

Sample LocationSample Result (mg/L)Arsenic MCL 0.010 (mg/L)
2401 Airport Road, Santa Teresa, NM0.0160Above MCL
1200 Futurity Dr., Sunland Park, NM0.0061Below MCL
5805 McNutt Rd Suite F, Sunland Park NM0.0088Below MCL
5622 McNutt Rd, Sunland Park, NM0.0062Below MCL
5200 McNutt Rd, Sunland Park, NM0.0070Below MCL
5300 McNutt Rd, Sunland Park, NM0.0071Below MCL
5101 McNutt Rd, Sunland Park, NM0.0063Below MCL
3365 McNutt Rd, Sunland Park, NM0.0031Below MCL
3365 McNutt Rd, Sunland Park, NM0.0036Below MCL
1673 McNutt Rd, Sunland Park NM0.0058Below MCL

NMED issued $251,580 in penalties against CRRUA on March 1, 2024. CRRUA is appealing the penalties. NMED also started additional investigations on March 27, 2024.

"The investigation focuses on CRRUA’s management of the arsenic treatment systems by seeking records related to sampling data, internal communications, financial and other information," an NMED spokesperson stated. "CRRUA has 21 days to provide NMED with this information of face civil or criminal sanctions. This investigation will inform additional actions the Department may take against CRRUA."

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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