ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) – Schools are closed and businesses are struggling after dangerous bacteria was found in the Artesia city water system for a second time.
All of a sudden, even the simplest of tasks have become a problem. Artesia has been hit with a second water advisory in just two months.
“It’s not pleasant that’s for sure, it kind of makes me angry,” said Artesia resident Joyce West, after E-coli was found in the water for a second time.
Residents are forced to boil their water or buy bottled water to do things others take for granted — and they’re learning some of the water they’ve been buying may not be safe either.
“I’m so used to getting water here that I automatically just stopped not realizing it’s effecting this too,” said Gilbert Romo, as he attempted to fill his water jug.
Artesia schools have decided to close until at least Wednesday, because water isn’t safe for drinking, cooking or even washing your hands.
Restaurants are taking a big hit as well.
“I understand that people in the city are having a hard time with it, but as a business owner, we do too,” said Alma Martinez, owner of Alma’s restaurant.
Serving bottled water is just the tip of the iceberg — restaurants also need to boil water for cooking and cleaning.
“We can’t use the ice machine. We have ice bags from our vendors, we get the water from our vendors,” Martinez said.
According to the city’s advisory, the bacteria was discovered in the water on Thursday. Residents were notified on Saturday.
“This is the second time this has happened in the last couple of months and you know, I don’t know what the source of it is and apparently the city doesn’t know, but I know that they’re doing everything possible to get the situation corrected,” Artesia resident Gilbert Romo said.
KRQE News 13 reached out to city officials, they did not hear back. We also had a hard time getting in contact with them last time this happened.
The city is telling residents the situation will hopefully be resolved in the next week.
E-coli is typically injected into a water system through animal waste. On its website, the city says it is still trying to determine the source of contamination and is switching to an alternative water source.
There will be a special school board meeting to decide what to do next. All extra-curricular activities, practices and competitions will continue as scheduled.