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A boil water notice is issued as a precaution to protect consumers from drinking water that may have been contaminated with disease-causing organisms. Wochit

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AZTEC — The New Mexico Environment Department is urging Rosa Joint Ventures Water System customers to boil their water after Escherichia coli, or E. coli, was found in a sample taken from the water distribution system.

The presence of the bacteria indicates that it may have been in contact with sewage or animal waste, according to an NMED press release. The presence of E.coli can mean there are disease-causing organisms in the water that could cause severe gastrointestinal illness or, in rare instances, death.

The press release states that most strains of E. coli are harmless and live in healthy people's intestines as well as animal intestines.

More: PRC: Rosa Joint Ventures water system has been unregulated

Rosa Joint Ventures serves a section of the county near Navajo Lake and also overlaps into Colorado. The majority of the customers live in Colorado. 

According to a press release from NMED, drinking water regulations require the water system to notify consumers within 24 hours of a water quality violation.

The press release states that the advisory applies only to Rosa Joint Ventures and not to nearby water systems. 

Customers who get water from Rosa Joint Ventures should boil the water for one minute before drinking it, making hot drinks like coffee, making ice, cooking, washing fruits or vegetables, brushing teeth, providing it to a baby or giving it to pets.

For more information, call NMED Drinking Water Bureau Compliance Officer James Jones at 505-258-3203.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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