Albuquerque’s water utility is helping out a small New Mexico town to the south.
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority sent a 6,000-gallon water tanker to supply residents in Carrizozo while that city investigates sulfate contamination in the groundwater supply.
Carrizozo Mayor Rick Hyatt said people don’t often panic in his town, but the water problem was alarming.
“It is the single most thing that you can't do without in order to stay alive,” Hyatt said.
They tested the water, Hyatt said, after residents complained last week about a strange smell and funky taste. They found sulfate levels exceeding federal standards and quickly warned residents not to drink or cook with the city’s water. Sulfate can cause diarrhea and dehydration when ingested.
There have been no reported cases of illness, Hyatt said, and they’re testing all wells. The cause of the contamination is still unknown.
KUNM's Public Health New Mexico project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the McCune Charitable Foundation. Find more at www.publichealthnm.org.