FARMINGTON — The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority has contained a leak into the San Juan River from a section of its wastewater treatment system in Shiprock.

The leak, which was discovered on Dec. 5, had been releasing wastewater from a natural depression near the river, according to an update released today by NTUA.

Once the wastewater is returned to the collection system, 94 percent travels to the wastewater treatment plant and undergoes treatment by normal processes while the remaining 6 percent recycles into the natural contained area, according to the release.

Drilling has resumed to install a new high-density polyethylene pipe.

NTUA reports the pilot hole is 42 percent complete, and the pipe will be pulled through the hole when drilling is complete.


The new sewer main is estimated to be in operation by Feb. 17.

NTUA continues to complete daily sampling for E. coli bacteria in the San Juan River and in the vicinity of the pipe leak.

"The test results indicate no apparent elevation in normal E. coli bacteria concentrations in the river water," the release states.

There is no immediate health threat or threat to the domestic water systems in Shiprock or nearby communities, according to the release.

The tribal enterprise recommends the public avoid this section of the river until the situation is remedied.

For more information, contact NTUA Deputy General Manager's office at 928-729-6275.

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