Some Animas Valley Water users still without water

by Devin Neeley, originally posted on September 3, 2016


Crouch Mesa, NM—Thousands of residents in the Crouch Mesa area haven’t been able to drink the water since late May.

Today, many can, but not all water users are out of the woods.

For the first time in months, the soda fountains flow at Dino’s convenience store in Crouch Mesa. The three months of boil advisory meant no fountain drinks.

Thursday night, the state certified Morningstar water safe.

“I didn’t even know that the boil advisory had been lifted, that’s how informed we are,” said Angeles Lewis. He and his family use Morningstar water.

Residents didn’t know about the boil order when it started. Friday, Sept. 2, KOB found residents that didn’t know it was over.

“We were never really up to date, there was never a weekly report, the weekly report they said they would have was very they procrastinated on that part,” said Lewis.

While there is a trickle of hope for Morningstar water system users, just a few miles away, another water system (also run by Animas Valley Water) has been on boil orders just as long and still is.

“For it continue on like this this long, it’s unacceptable,” said Denise Hethcox, a Harvest Gold water user.

Harvest Gold water system serves about 500 people near Bloomfield. Run by Animas Valley Water people there have what looks to be a longer amount of time to have to boil.

“I don’t have any hope until I actually I hear we can use our water,” said Hethcox.

And water users say there is plenty of blame to go around.

“They let us down severely. It’s difficult, the trust,” said Heather Lamprecht, Morningstar water user.

She says that the state should have kept better tabs on the situation with the system, and not allowed it to get to this point. She also blames the water company.

“They refused to help when we needed them the most,” said Lamprecht.

This is a small victory in a bigger fight.

“I did have a shower with a little less worry, that is helpful. That is positive,” said Lamprecht.

The New Mexico Environment Department tells us that the running tally of fines for animas valley water tops $131,000 as of today and that’s likely to continue to grow.

There are 6 more items for Morningstar water that are not in compliance, those have to do with long term safety. As for Harvest Gold, NMED says there are 21 violations still out of compliance.

An emergency order about the sitiuation is here.

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