ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s no secret, the pond at the University of New Mexico is a popular place for students and families.
Every other spring the pond is drained and cleaned. Besides the usual trash, there are also many surprising items found.
It’s the Manager of Environmental Services at UNM, Willie West, who oversees the draining of the pond. West said it’s always an interesting process.
“We did find a couple of office chairs, a fishing pole, several pairs of shoes,” said West.
Those were just some of the items found during this spring cleaning. But it doesn’t stop there.
“We have occasionally found things like knives, computers, laptops,” said West.
Other items include car keys, a mannequin, and even a bowling ball.
“Lots of red solo cups, so there was obviously some entertainment going on,” said West.
Many students have their own theories to how the items got there.
“It’s probably frats or sororities maybe playing pranks,” said student Gabriel Sandoval.
“You hear a lot of stories about campus shenanigans and so some of it should be expected,” said student Rachael McLennan. “The bowling ball definitely surprises me.”
While even West gets a good laugh out of it, he said it’s still crucial to watch what goes in the water.
“This is a very small pond and it’s not very big so when we’re pulling out that much debris, that really can be impactful on the aquatic life inside the pond,” said West.
“It can actually affect the quality of the water. Not to mention cell phones and other electronics we find in there aren’t probably the best things in the world to be sitting on the bottom of a pond,” West said.
West said overall be respectful and watch where your trash ends up.
UMN said the pond contained 50,000 gallons of organic sludge. The draining, which involved moving turtles to the school’s biology department, took more than 400 hours of labor to complete.