By Riamy Beuscher, communications intern

water faucetCamino Real Regional Utility Authority (CRRUA) recently issued an advisory warning residents that the water utility’s two arsenic treatment plants were broken down.

CRRUA operates the water and wastewater treatment systems for an estimated 21,000 users in Sunland Park and Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Located on the U.S-Mexico border, both communities rely on groundwater drawn from wells.

Because he suspected that “arsenic was an issue,” Dr. Paul Maxwell, a resident of Santa Teresa, paid $141.56 for two water samples drawn on April 20—one from Santa Teresa and the other from the Anapra neighborhood of Sunland Park according to NMPolitics.

Samples tested from Santa Teresa detected arsenic levels 20 percent higher than federal and state health standards. Samples tested from Anapra returned 40 percent higher, according to a May 4 report by Hall Environmental Analysis Laboratory.

“It’s always been a problem, regardless of the (arsenic treatment plants). It’s been going on for years and years. We’ve never had drinkable water. We have water but it’s not drinkable,” said resident Olga Nunez.

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