New Mexico Department of the Environment plans to release report on CRRUA accident next week

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SANTA TERESA, N.M. (KVIA) — Residents of Santa Teresa and Sunland Park may be closer to figuring out the exact cause of an accident that caused a large amount of sulfuric acid to enter their drinking water supply last month. do not have.

The New Mexico Department of the Environment said the Department of Drinking Water has been investigating the Camino Real Regional Utilities Authority (CRRUA) since a treatment plant failure in December.

According to CRRUA, the incident was caused by a pump failure, leaving thousands of residents without usable drinking water for several days after the contamination.

Matthew Maez, communications director for the New Mexico Department of the Environment, said the report’s findings “are expected” to be released as early as the end of next week.

ABC-7 asked Maez what consequences CRRUA could face if violations are found in the report.

“Utilities that are not in compliance may be subject to a notice of violation or an administrative compliance order, depending on the nature of the violation,” Maez said.

The department also said the investigation was under “unusual” circumstances.

In a statement to ABC-7, the Department of Drinking Water said, “This is the first time in recent memory that a water system has had such an oversupply of chemicals, and given the number of customers affected. This is the first time,” he said in a statement to ABC-7.

News of the report’s upcoming release comes just weeks after CRRUA Executive Director Brent Westmoreland stepped down.

John Crosby was appointed interim director by the CRRUA board last week after hiring the Las Cruces-based firm Robert Garza & Associates to find a permanent replacement for Westmoreland.

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