The source of our drinking water is groundwater from two aquifers, the Mesilla and Jornada Bolsons.
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Discolored water is due to naturally occurring minerals (iron and manganese) found in our water supply. Although Las Cruces Utilities is not required by law to chlorinate our water, we do; it assures our community that we do not have coliform bacteria issues within the aquifer or water distribution system. However, even a tiny amount of chlorine can cause the iron and manganese to drop out of solution in the water, giving it a dark tint.
Because the minerals have changed from a liquid mineral to a solid mineral and settled out in the pipes. When an increase in demand occurs, the settled minerals will move, which normally occurs in the summer when people are using more water. This can also be caused by water surging through the lines when a break occurs.
Two methods have been adopted to minimize discolored water:
Although the discolored water has no health risks associated with it, if you choose not to use it, turn off all your taps and please notify the Las Cruces Utilities Dispatch at 575-526-0500 so we can arrange for the system to be flushed in your area. As soon as flushing is complete, run your cold water taps to clear the discolored water from your own lines.
We recommend that you wait to do your laundry until the discolored water clears, so that your clothing and other items in the washing machine are not stained.
For more information, please refer to our Red Water Fact Sheet (PDF).
The rotten egg or sulfur smell is caused by naturally occurring sulfide ions in the City's source water. When water sits in the main lines for long periods of time without movement, the sulfide can form hydrogen sulfide gas. The gas remains entrained in the water until it leaves the customer's water taps.
If you smell a rotten egg or sulfur smell from your cold water, call the Las Cruces Utilities Water Production Section at 575-528-3547 so they can send an operator to make sure that you have an ideal level of residual chlorine, and if not, flush the lines. If you smell a rotten egg or sulfur smell from your hot water, you may need to flush your hot water heater and raise the temperature setting slightly to prevent proliferation of bacteria that feed on the iron in the water.
The Las Cruces Utilities Department's standard operating procedures state that the utility will provide water pressure measured on the customer's side of the meter at a pressure between 20 and 120 pounds per square inch (PSI).
If the customer requires higher pressure than what is being delivered at the point of delivery (the water meter), the customer can install a booster pump at the customer's cost. If the pressure at the point of delivery is higher than what the customer desires, the customer can install a pressure reducing valve at the customer's cost. For a pressure test, call Utilities Dispatch at 575-526-0500.
There might be a water line break that we need to go out and repair. Please notify the Las Cruces Utilities Dispatch at 575-526-0500.
City water is as safe as bottled water. Bottled water is water that has been treated through some type of filtration process to remove some of the naturally occurring minerals in the water that may give it a distinct taste. City water is not filtered; however, it is sampled and analyzed for up to 121 potential contaminants and meets or exceeds all requirements set by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Watering days and restrictions can be found on the Water Conservation page.
Yes, a construction meter is set up and the contractor will be charged for the water consumption. If you see anyone drawing water from a hydrant that does not have a water meter, please notify the Las Cruces Utilities Dispatch immediately at 575-526-0500.