ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The federal government and the state are increasing the way they are monitoring a hazardous superfund plume with five new monitoring wells in Roswell. Residents are comforted to see the ongoing work.
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“Clean water is essential to life is it not? So it should be 100 percent it should be foremost in front of everybody’s minds, so it’s beyond important to survival,” said resident Angel Mays.
In the late ’50s and early ’60s, a handful of dry-cleaning businesses in the area around McGaffey and Main, one where a car wash is today, polluted the groundwater with dangerous chemicals creating a growing and moving underground plume. It wasn’t discovered until the mid-’90s.
In 2008, the New Mexico Environment Department and the EPA worked to clean up the plume that covers close to 550 acres by pumping water from the area and treating it. The new monitoring wells are going to be used to gauge how the plume is moving and how well the ongoing vapor extraction cleanup efforts are working.
“I think that it’s very important that the state has taken responsibility in their testing matter. and it’s always good to have additional testing wells in the area to make sure that we can monitor the plume correctly,” Mays said.
“There’s a lot of chemicals in the water and it’s has to be pure for the people drinking,” said another Roswell resident, Guadalupe Juarez.
In a previous report coming from the Environment Department and EPA, the water levels did show levels of improvement. The state does fresh rounds of monitoring every five years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.