Editor’s Note: This story is outdated. The advisory was lifted on September 21, 2023.

OTERO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Environment Department has confirmed that residents served by Sky Country Estates Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association (MDWCA) need to boil their drinking water.

The Environment Department notes that E. coli bacteria was detected in water samples. Most strains of E. coli are relatively harmless, the department notes, but some can be dangerous and cause severe gastrointestinal issues. Children, the elderly, and immunocompromised people are at particular risk, the Environment Department says.

Sky Country Estates MDWCA serves roughly 71 individuals, the Environment Department says. The system does not connect to any surrounding communities’ water systems.

Sky Country Estates MDWCA users should boil their water for three minutes before:

  • Drinking
  • Making coffee, tea, and other drinks
  • Making ice
  • Cooking
  • Washing fruits and vegetables
  • Using the water to feed a baby
  • Brushing teeth
  • Providing as drinking water for pets

Water officials say they will flush water lines and search for the bacterial. They estimate fixing the issue within one week.