PICURIS PUEBLO, N.M. (KRQE) -The New Mexico Environment Department is asking for the public’s assistance reporting illegal dumping into bodies of water.
Officials say Picuris Pueblos near Taos found raw sewage in the Rio Pueblo which included solids such as toilet paper. NMED officials say that within an hour, access to the river was restricted as a precaution.
Samples of the river were taken by NMED, Pueblo staff and Surface Water Quality Bureau which indicated in preliminary results that levels for contaminants such as E. coli were at normal levels and below water quality standards.
The Rio Pueblo is open and safe for recreation. NMED says that source of the sewage spill has not been identified and appears to be the result of illegal dumping into the river.
Picuris Pueblo is now offering a $500 reward for anyone with information on those responsible for the spill. Officials remind the public that discharging any water contaminant without a permit is a fourth-degree felony.
Anyone who is a witness to suspicious activities in the environment is asked to call NMED’s environment incident hotline at 1-800-219-6157. You can also file a report online by clicking here.