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NMSU free well water testing continues through June

A popular program that provides Luna County property owners with free well water testing is being extended through June, said Jack Blandford, program director at New Mexico State University?s Cooperative Extension Service Office in Deming.

?If you haven?t done so, now is a good time to get your well tested,? Blandford said. ?We wrap up in June.?

The program, which began in February, is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health as part of a student research project and coordinated through the state Water Resources Research Institute in Las Cruces and the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service.

Students from NMSU, 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.

So far, some 120 property owners have taken advantage of the program, which is open to county residents who obtain their drinking water from private and domestic wells. Water samples are collected by the property owner and shipped to the state?s water quality lab in Albuquerque. Samples are tested for arsenic, fluoride, nitrates, coliform and other contaminants. Results are returned within three weeks.

?Most of our samples are coming back clean,? Blandford said. ?There?s a sense of relief knowing exactly what?s in your water supply. It?s certainly better than not knowing.?

Blandford urged property owners to come by the Extension Office, 210 B Poplar Street, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to obtain a free water sampling kit. The kit includes an instruction sheet in English and Spanish explaining how to collect your sample for lab testing.

For more information, please contact the extension office at 575-546-8806.