County looks for solutions for water problems

Hannah Grover
Don Moats, owner of D.J.’s Backhoe Service, inspects a septic tank on July 9, 2015, on a property in the Totah subdivision south of Farmington. The neighborhood has had water quality problems.

AZTEC – The county has finished preliminary engineering reports for the water and wastewater in the Totah subdivision and both reports indicate that the subdivision should connect to Farmington's water treatment infrastructure.

The subdivision, located south of Farmington, has suffered from poor water quality. And leaking septic tanks have caused contamination in the nearby San Juan River, residents say.

Last year, the county received two $50,000 grants from the New Mexico Finance Authority for preliminary water and wastewater engineering reports. The grants required the county to perform the work before being reimbursed by the New Mexico Finance Authority.The San Juan County Commission approved agreements today  with the New Mexico Finance Authority for the reimbursement.

Mike Stark, the county operations officer, said the city of Farmington and San Juan County will host a community meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at Sycamore Park Community Center, 1051 Sycamore St. in Farmington, with residents of the Totah subdivision to discuss the results of the preliminary engineering study.

“This is step one,” Stark said after the commission meeting.

Silva Strauss talks about her septic system on Aug. 21, 2015, outside her home on Concho Drive in the Totah subdivision south of Farmington.

He said having the studies done will allow the county to request funding to help fix the problems leading to contaminated water.

Stark said both the water and the wastewater studies indicate the subdivision should connect to Farmington’s infrastructure.

In other business, the San Juan County Commission also approved extending an agreement with the New Mexico Department of Transportation for work on County Road 3900.

Fran Fillerup, the county public works director, said the agreement is for the design of the extension of the road, which will ultimately connect with Piñon Hills Boulevard in Farmington.

The county and the city of Farmington are both working on the project, which would link Crouch Mesa with East Main Street. Last month, the New Mexico Department of Transportation announced it would be delaying the Farmington section of the road project due to concerns with the right-of-way acquisition.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

An unpaved area of County Road 3900 is pictured Friday in Crouch Mesa. The county has approved a project that ultimately will link the area to Pinon Hills Boulevard.