BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – Federal and local officials were on hand Friday to dedicate a new water treatment center. The facility will filter out arsenic from the nearby water system. Arsenic can occur naturally in New Mexico from volcanic formations along the Rio Grande but the site ensure water meets mandated drinking standards.

More than $3.5M in federal funds went toward the project. “These projects are very expensive, so it’s one of our pleasures to be able to provide funding to communities that typically would not be able to be able provide the amount of money needed for a project of this scope,” said Patricia Dominguez, State Director, United States Department of Agriculture. Officials also broke ground on a new, 600 foot deep water well in Belen.