New Mexico Water Service Company

Sandia Knolls Water System


February 10, 2017



We have discovered that materials used in the drilling of a nearby well introduced small amounts of surfactants and diluted glycol into the drinking water system serving Sandia Knolls customers.  These materials are approved for use in drilling drinking water wells, and visual monitoring and flushing indicate that there would only be trace amounts in the water supply.  We are currently conducting testing to determine whether water quality was affected by this incident. 

What should I do? What does this mean?
After consulting with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and out of an abundance of caution, we advise customers in our Sandia Knolls water system to use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and brushing teeth until test results confirm that water quality was not adversely affected.  Customers should also discard ice cubes made from tap water or their refrigerator’s water line. If you have pets and are unsure about providing water to them during this advisory, please consult your veterinarian. If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, are elderly, or have sensitive skin, you should seek advice from your health care provider about using the water for bathing.

Surfactants are compounds considered to be “secondary contaminants,” which means that they pose no acute threat to public health, but are instead aesthetic and lead to bubbles similar to diluted soapy water.  Glycol, in its undiluted form, can cause skin or eye irritation, and prolonged, repeated exposure could impact internal organs. Please note, however, that this agent was diluted before being used, and was further diluted when it entered the water supply.

Although we have not observed any irregularities in the distribution system since flushing to alleviate bubbling in the water, if you notice bubbling in your water, please flush your tap until it clears.
What is being done?

We immediately took the affected well offline and flushed it until it cleared up, flushed the water distribution system and tanks, collected and are testing water samples, and are working with the NMED to resolve this issue. We will conduct special monitoring to ensure that none of these materials remain in the system. 

We will inform you when we have more information and water quality test results confirm that it is safe to resume normal water use. Test results are expected on Saturday, February 11. Updates will also be posted online at

If you need to purchase bottled water for use during this advisory, you can save your receipts for reimbursement. Please bring or send your receipts to our Customer Center at 401 Horner St., Rio Communities, NM 87002, to the attention of Staci Avendano.

We apologize for this inconvenience. We are issuing this advisory out of an abundance of caution because protecting your health and safety is our highest priority. For more information, please contact our Customer Center at (505) 864-2218 or visit

*Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.*This e-mail and any of its attachments may contain New Mexico Water Service Company proprietary information and is confidential. This e-mail is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, please notify the sender immediately by replying to this e-mail and then deleting it from your system.

Sandia Knolls Neighborhood Association

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