Arsenic plant is working

........................................................................................................................................................................................

The city of Socorro’s arsenic treatment plant is up and running and the city’s water is now within state guidelines for arsenic content.

Lloyd Martinez, city water superintendent, told the Socorro City Council during the council’s regular meeting March 18 that the state came to sample the city’s water on March 14.

During an interview April 4, Martinez explained the state tests the city’s water every quarter, but the city has been found in violation of water quality regulations every time because the arsenic treatment plant was not running. But for the most recent sampling, the plant was operational and had been running since the beginning of December 2012.

Martinez said results were not back as of April 4 since testing for arsenic is a longer process than for other contaminants, such as nitrates. He telephoned the Chieftain on Wednesday to report the results were in.

“We’re well under the limit,” Martinez said.

Martinez said to be in compliance, the water must be below 10 parts per billion, or .010 milligrams per liter. He said samples taken March 14 from the city’s industrial park well tested at 3 ppb, and Socorro Springs tested at 4 ppb.

Martinez did not know if the city will be allowed to start over with fresh data beginning with this result, or if the state will go by a quarterly average of testing results. He said if the state averages the water testing results with previous quarters, the city will still be in violation of state water standards.