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Home News Free Water Tests for Private Well Owners in Pena Blanca
Kenny Vigil
505-841-5871 Office
505-470-2290 Mobile

Free Water Tests for Private Well Owners in Pena Blanca

March 6, 2015 - Water Quality - Healthy Living

New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) are hosting a no-cost Domestic Well Water Testing station in Pena Blanca at the Pena Blanca Water and Sanitation District Office. Although well owners are encouraged to periodically test their drinking water, such tests can be costly, starting at $150.

This money-saving opportunity is the chance for Sandoval County households to check pH, specific conductance, and the levels of fluoride, iron, sulfate, nitrate, and manganese in the well water. These constituents may be naturally occurring or result from sources including fertilizer, animal waste, septic tanks, and refuse dumps. 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 is naturally occurring and has been measured in water from private wells throughout the state at concentrations that exceed recommended drinking water quality health standards.

“Drinking water with high levels of arsenic over many years can cause health problems in some people,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “This is an example of why well owners are encouraged to know and understand the quality of the water they are drinking and this is an opportunity to do that.”

About 20 percent of New Mexicans receive their water from private wells, which are not monitored routinely. To support well owners, the Health Department offers information about various well topics on our Private Well page.

“The Environment Department is committed to providing communities with the support and resources they need for clean drinking water,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary Ryan Flynn. “These no-cost water fairs held in communities around the state are a great opportunity for us and for residents relying on private, domestic well water.”

The testing station will be at the Pena Blanca Water and Sanitation District Office, 827 Highway 22, Pena Blanca, NM 87041 on the following days and times. These free tests will be offered on a first-come first-served basis while supplies are available. Test results will be mailed to households following the event.

  • Wednesday, March 11 @ 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 12 @ 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

To have water tested, residents need to take a sample of their water to the station during the expo. The departments suggest these tips:

  • Use a clean glass or plastic container that holds at least a quart of water (such as in a 1-liter soda bottle or gallon milk jug). The container should not have a strong odor (avoid pickle jars and vinegar bottles).
  • Collect the water before it runs through any water treatment/filters such as an R.O. 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 filling the bottle/container.
  • Fill the bottle with the water as close to the time of testing as possible (right before coming to the expo).
  • Label the bottle with your name and phone number.

Along with the water sample, residents should include basic information known about the well such as: well depth, depth to water, well casing material (i.e., steel, PVC), well latitude/longitude, and distance from well to the nearest septic tank/leachfield system. Please see the sample Well Test Form for gathering this useful information.

If well owners are unable to attend the expo but would like to have their water tested, they may have their sample brought to the water test station 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 station 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 using the following resources:

For further information about this water testing opportunity, call the Environment Department at 505-827-1046.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Kenny Vigil at 505-841-5871 (Office) or 505-470-2290 (Mobile) with your questions.

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