TAOS, LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – As the impacts of New Mexico’s largest wildfire continue, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is offering hundreds of free well water test kits to property owners affected by the Hermits Peak Calf Canyon Fire. In a news release Wednesday afternoon, the NMED says 200 free water bacteria test kits will be available on two specific dates at the NMED offices in Las Vegas and Taos in the coming weeks.

After a wildfire, the NMED says private wells can be contaminated and unsafe to use for drinking water and other purposes. NMED reminds private well owners that while it will help test water in this program, in general, the Department does not have jurisdiction over private wells.

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Las Vegas-area residents will be granted the first round of free test kits. Impacted residents in the Las Vegas-area can pick-up a free water test kit at the NMED field office at 2538 Ridgerunner Road on June 24 between 8:30 a.m. and noon, or 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. That office is located to the west of the Walmart Supercenter in East Las Vegas, off of 7th Street.

Anyone who picks up a test kit in the Las Vegas area will need to deliver the sample to the same NMED field office on Monday, June 27 between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Test results will be mailed to residents after the New Mexico State Laboratory Division completes laboratory analysis.

Taos-area residents will be allowed to pick up free water bacteria test kits on Wednesday, July 6, at the NMED filed office on 145 Roy Road, Suite B, south of the intersection with Paseo Del Canon. Residents can pick up those tests between 8:30 a.m. and noon, or 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

People with tests in the Taos area can deliver the well water test results to the same Taos NMED field office on July 7, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Well water tests can typically cost around $100. So far, the state’s NMED says it has distributed over 100 bacteria tests in response to New Mexico’s 2022 wildfires. According to the state, kits will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 200 participants. 100 tests will be available in Las Vegas and 100 tests will be available in Taos.