By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News 4/5/20
“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released its report on drinking water supplies and the susceptibility of those supplies to the Coronavirus,” said Joshua Rosenblatt, BSc MPA, Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) regulatory and environmental analyst. The EPA report states: Conventional disinfection by chlorination and UV are effective against COVID-19; the virus cannot be transported in municipal drinking water systems. A link to the EPA’s COVID-19 pages and breaking news can be found at https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus.
Rosenblatt explains, “In response to a request from one of our customers regarding the actual water quality of bottled water vs. the delivered municipal tap water of Las Cruces, combined with the surge of people buying out stores of bottled water in response to worries about the Coronavirus, it was timely to reply to the question of water quality comparison.”
Every drop of water coming out of your tap from LCU is drinking quality water. Whether you drink it or use it to wash clothes, take a bath, or water your lawn, every drop goes through rigorous monitoring. “As a public municipality our drinking water is under strict water quality monitoring standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which is regulated and enforced by the EPA,” said Rosenblatt.
LCU is a regulated water provider. Part of LCU’s compliance requirements is the public release of the annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to all our customers. The annual report contains the results of water quality sampling and analysis information that is mailed every year directly into the mailbox of every LCU customer. The testing is conducted independently by the State of New Mexico Environmental Department Drinking Water Bureau samplers and government contract analytical laboratories. The
report must be certified by the State of New Mexico and the EPA Region 6 prior to publication.
By comparison, there are no such monitoring standards or reporting required of private bottled water corporations. Bottled water corporations are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not the EPA. Neither the EPA nor the FDA certify bottled water. Organizations like NSF International (an American product testing, inspection and certification organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan) and United Laboratories, provide additional inspections to water bottling facilities to assure that best management practices and cleanliness are in place and FDA standards are being met.
It’s your choice. But it’s important to LCU that you know your tap water is safe. It always has been, and it always will be. Every drop is quality drinking water.
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: Every drop of water coming out of your tap is quality drinking water. As a public municipality, LCU’s drinking water is under strict water quality monitoring standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act regulated and enforced by the EPA.