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NMSU students to analyze water quality in Luna County

As part of a research project conducted by the New Mexico Department of Health and the state Water Resources Research Institute, chemical engineering students from New Mexico State University, studying public health, are assigned to collect water quality data in Luna County, analyzing the results and providing feedback to property owners on how to filter or treat tap water that fails to meet health standards.


Luna County property owners are invited to stop by the Cooperative Extension Office and pick up a free water sampling kit Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The kit includes an instruction sheet explaining how to collect your sample for lab testing.

Water samples from private wells are currently being tested for the presence of coliform, fluoride, arsenic and other contaminants.

?We are testing well water to see if we find anything that might impact public health,? said Jack Blandford, Extension Office program director. ?With luck, we won?t find a thing.?

The water samples are shipped to a commercial laboratory in Albuquerque, and the results will be provided to property owners within three weeks.

?Because private wells are not required to be tested regularly, property owners often are unaware of the quality of their well water,? Blandford said. ?Laboratory tests, which are deemed the responsibility of the property owner, can exceed $100-$300 per sample.?

Blandford added the testing was a unique opportunity. ?We are unlikely to have this kind of free service anytime soon.?

For more information, contact the Luna County Extension Office at 575-546-8806.