Magdalena residents getting some water

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Since the Trujillo well in Magdalena went dry last Wednesday morning, various communities and agencies have been working with Magdalena city and officials to supply water to its residents.

“Today, we received water from the VLA and Alamogordo,” Marshall Larry Cearley said Friday. “Each truckload of water is being tested to ensure chlorine levels are appropriate before water is being distributed.”

Cearley said that as of Friday water is being fed through the water hydrant at the highest altitude, off of Kelly Road, and it is flowing back into the city water system and providing water to many households.

“We have put 26,000 gallons back into the system as of this morning, and will have 40,000 in by the end of the day.” Cearley said. “Right now there is water down to about Sixth Street, and there should be water to Tenth Street by this evening.”

According to City Clerk Rita Broaddus, the city has applied for and received an exploratory permit from the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer to begin searching for the best place to drill a new well.

“What we need now is the money to drill,” Broaddus said.

The city has requests for emergency funding through Community Development Block Grant emergency funding program out of Washington, D.C., the New Mexico Department of Finance Administration and the New Mexico Finance Authority, as well as the New Mexico Environmental Department.

In the interim, the city is also working to bring back online the Spears Well, which was taken offline six to eight years ago because it did not meet new codes with regard to managing chlorine levels. There were also some plumbing and electrical problems with the well.

“It only pumps 30-35 gallons per minute, so it is not a production well for the city,” Broaddus said. “For now, we can take the chlorinator from the Trujillo Well and put it on the Spears Well to ensure that the water is properly chlorinated.”

The Trujillo well pumped 180-200 gallons per minute, before the well went dry. The city is currently working on the plumbing and electrical to bring the Spears Well up to date, and then will begin filtering water from this well into the system.

Cearley said that porta-potties have been set up throughout town for residents’ use until everyone has water through the city water system again.