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State issues boil advisory for southeastern New Mexico city

Leonard Tapia
July 18, 2017 07:03 AM

ROSWELL---The temperature in Atresia isn't the only thing boiling. In fact, a total of 14,000 residents were advised on July 15th to boil their drinking water after E.coli was found in the city's water supply.

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Click here to read the warning. Residents KOB spoke to say the sudden contamination comes as a shock.

“It's kind of a surprise to live in a community that all the sudden has an E. coli problem,” said Jess Holmes, an Artesia water user.

That problem caused a number of local businesses -- restaurants mostly -- to turn customers away this past weekend.

“We did have to shut down yesterday," said Alma Martinez, owner of Alma’s Restaurant. “This is a nightmare sometimes, you know? Having to deal with the bottled waters and stuff like that, the cooking, the hand washing, stuff like that -- it is scary.”

However, they’re more prepared, using and serving only purified bottled and jugs of water. Martinez said she isn’t even risking using tap water to operate her business. She’s been using dozens upon dozens of purified water bottles and gallons.

If people were to drink the contaminated water they could experience diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and headaches. According to the CDC, some strains of E.coli can get you sicker than others, which can result in damage to the intestinal tract.

Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch said so far there have been no reports of illness.

“I just hope they fix it quick,” Martinez said.

The city tells KOB they do plan on switching over to an alternate drinking water source and increasing testing in order to determine where the bacteria came from.

In the meantime, people are left buying bottled water and boiling their water until the city resolves the situation – they say that should be within the next week or so.

Credits

Leonard Tapia

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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