Subdivision had been under advisory since June 2016
FARMINGTON — Residents of the Harvest Gold subdivision will be able to use their tap water without boiling it this Thanksgiving.
The New Mexico Environment Department has informed the Apple Orchard Mutual Domestic Water Users Association that the boil-water advisory was lifted today, according to Apple Orchard Board President Ammon Burton.
"It's finally off," Burton said about the boil-water advisory.
The residents of the small subdivision east of Bloomfield have been on the advisory since June 2016.
"I'm relieved, and I'm just happy for all my neighbors," said Mirium Browning, a resident of the subdivision.
Apple Orchard, a community-owned water utility, took ownership of the troubled Harvest Gold water system earlier this year from the AV Water Co.
By acquiring the water system, Apple Orchard and the city of Bloomfield were able to use state funding to build a connection between the two systems. That allowed Apple Orchard to abandon its failing water treatment plant and purchase water from the city.
A press release issued by NMED today states that samples taken from the system after the connection was completed and the system was flushed tested negative for bacteria, and the turbidity levels — a measure of the cloudiness of the water — met drinking water standards. More information is available at env.nm.gov/drinking_water/av-water.
While the boil-water advisory was in effect, residents hauled water to their houses, and the county collected donations of bottled water to provide the residents with drinking water.
"It's been a rough, rough year and a half," Browning said.
While she is glad the boil-water advisory was lifted, Browning said she is still cautious about the water.
"It's going to take a lot to get back into my normal routine and to trust the water," she said.
Burton said he was expecting the boil-water advisory to be lifted and was ecstatic when he received news from the environment department.
"I can't tell you how happy I am," Burton said.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at email@example.com.