Our Wa­ter Qual­ity

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - CONTENT - STEPHEN WIMAN

The City of Santa Fe’sWater Di­vi­sion has just re­leased the 2015 An­nu­alWater Re­port. It is per­haps the sin­gle best source for a com­pre­hen­sive sum­mary of our mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sys­tem, in­clud­ing the sources of sup­ply, wa­ter rights, es­ti­mated fu­ture de­mand, and break­downs by us­age cat­e­gories and wa­ter re­sources plan­ning. (The re­port be­gins on Page 69 in theMay 2016Water Con­ser­va­tion Com­mit­tee meet­ing packet, which you can find at www.santafenm.gov/wa­ter_­con­ser­va­tion_­com­mit­tee.)

The newWa­ter Qual­ity Re­port or Con­sumer Con­fi­dence Re­port (Page 85) is an an­nual EPA re­quire­ment for all large pub­lic wa­ter sys­tems and will be dis­trib­uted with City of Santa Fe util­ity bills in May and June. The re­port in­cludes a sum­mary ta­ble with all the re­cent com­pli­ance test­ing re­sults. The ta­ble is bro­ken down into cat­e­gories of or­gan­ics, in­or­gan­ics, ra­dioac­tive con­tam­i­nants, and sur­face wa­ter con­tam­i­nants. If you are a reg­u­lar reader of this column, you will re­mem­ber that ura­nium present in mi­nor amounts in some of the Buck­man wells is of ge­o­logic ori­gin, as es­tab­lished by iso­tope test­ing. There are also in­di­vid­ual sec­tions in the re­port on ni­trate, ar­senic and the pro­to­zoan par­a­site Cryp­tosporid­ium.

The City is re­quired to test for more than 80 con­tam­i­nants and it also con­ducts vol­un­tary mon­i­tor­ing of con­tam­i­nants that are reg­u­lated un­der the EPA’s sec­ondary max­i­mum con­tam­i­na­tion lev­els, which are non-en­force­able guide­lines for man­ag­ing pub­lic wa­ter sys­tems. Of par­tic­u­lar note this year be­cause of prob­lems with lead in the pub­lic wa­ter sup­ply of Flint, Michi­gan, is com­pli­ance test­ing for lead. Com­pli­ance test­ing for lead in Santa Fe wa­ter was con­ducted in Au­gust, 2015, and the level re­ported was well be­low the EPA’s re­quire­ment. In my ex­pe­ri­ence with wa­ter test­ing around Santa Fe, the only el­e­vated lead lev­els re­ported were in older down­town homes that were plumbed with lead or gal­va­nized pipe.

I want to call your at­ten­tion to a con­fer­ence that will be tak­ing place in Santa Fe later this month. TheWestern Coali­tion of Arid States (WESTCAS) is hold­ing its An­nual Con­fer­ence at the Inn at Loretto from June 22 to 24. The theme of the con­fer­ence is “Max­i­miz­ingWater Re­sourcesThrough Recharge, Re­use, and Re­cy­cle”. City of Santa FeWater Re­sources Co­or­di­na­torWil­liam Sch­nei­der is one of the pre­sen­ters and he is cur­rently work­ing with a con­sult­ing firm to eval­u­ate po­ten­tial uses of re­cy­cled wa­ter to mit­i­gate against cli­mate change. In ad­di­tion to ad­mit­tance to the tech­ni­cal pro­gram and as­so­ci­ated so­cial events, paid reg­is­tra­tion for the con­fer­ence in­cludes the op­tions of tak­ing tours of the Santa FeWater­shed and the Buck­man Di­rect Diver­sion. For more in­for­ma­tion about the con­fer­ence, visit the WESTCAS web­site.

The City of Santa Fe is now ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for three va­cant po­si­tions on theWater Con­ser­va­tion Com­mit­tee. If you are in­ter­ested and you want to learn more about the com­mit­tee and mem­ber roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, as well as the nom­i­nat­ing process, please open this link:

http://save­wa­ter­santafe.com/2016/04/ city-seeks-mem­bers-for-wa­ter-con­ser­va­tion-com­mit­tee-va­can­cies/

StephenWi­man holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in ge­ol­ogy and is a re­tired petroleum ge­ol­o­gist. He spent 11 years lo­cally in wa­ter test­ing, in­ter­pre­ta­tion of test re­sults and wa­ter re­me­di­a­tion. He is a mem­ber of the City of Santa Fe’sWater Con­ser­va­tion Com­mit­tee and he serves on the Board of the Santa FeWater­shed As­so­ci­a­tion. He may be reached at skwiman@icloud.com.

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