MAGDALENA — 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 Curly said Friday. “Each truckload of water is being tested to ensure chlorine levels are appropriate before water is being distributed.”
Curly 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.” Curly 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.
Curly said that porta-potties have been set up throughout town for residents’ use until everyone has water through the city water system again.
6/6/13 — Magdalena village well out of water
By Susan Montoya Bryan/The Associated Press
The village of Magdalena is scrambling now that its sole drinking water well has gone dry.
The water table has dropped almost 20 feet since January due to the persistent drought that has plagued nearly all of New Mexico for three years. In Magdalena, about 1,000 residents and several businesses were without water Wednesday when the level dropped below the well’s intake.
Matt Holmes of the New Mexico Rural Water Association says the problem is a combination of drought and infrastructure.
Magdalena officials have put in a request with the State Engineer’s Office to drill a new well, but that could take a week or two. For now, the community will have to rely on water tenders from Socorro and White Sands Missile Range.
“We’re delivering potable water to residents, especially the elderly and small children we’re concerned about,” village Marshal Larry Cearley said. “We can only deliver so much water for so long.”
The village is also ordering cases of water from stores in nearby Socorro.
Magdalena is not alone. Across the state’s eastern plains, livestock wells stand empty and ranchers are selling their cattle. Domestic wells near Santa Fe and Las Vegas have been going dry, and reservoirs across the state have reached record lows.
Cearley said Wednesday that Magdalena has applied to the State Engineer’s Office for the last four years to get a second well drilled and has been denied each time. He added that money to do the work has been tight.
The State Engineer’s Office did not return messages seeking comment.