AZTEC, N.M. (KRQE) – Some living in Aztec are dealing with brown water coming out of their showers and sinks. The city said the water is safe and EPA regulated, but some residents don’t feel comfortable drinking it.
Angie Hall, a resident in Aztec, mentioned for three weeks now, she and her neighbors have seen brown and yellow water coming out of the faucets.
“It is frustrating. You can’t take a shower. When you look at that you’re like, ‘Well I’ll be dirtier getting out of the shower than I was getting in,’ and who wants to drink that,” said Hall.
Hall added her hot water heater had to be emptied twice because it filled up with residue from the dark water.
Aztec City Manager Jeff Blackburn said the area sees water discoloration year round, but it can ramp up in the springtime because of increased irrigation and other factors.
Blackburn mentioned the surge of water disturbs mineral deposits in the lines, and that’s what causes the discoloration. The solution from the city is to flush the waterlines to push that build-up through.
“We have to open the fire hydrant to flush the lines. We have a process. In that process, the brown water is not completely hidden from the public,” said Blackburn.
All of the city’s water goes through the Aztec Water Plant. According to the Aztec Public Works Department, the discolored water is safe to drink.
“We do suggest to the public, when they see a little bit of discolored water, to open their faucets for 10 to 15 minutes, and a lot of times the water will clear up on its own through their sink,” said Aztec Public Works Director Ruben Salcido.
The city added they are working to upgrade their current water plant. They are currently seeking funds to begin waterline replacements. The Public Works Department said those seeing discolored water in the area can call them to flush out pipes.