E.coli discoverd in Jal water

Posted at: 08/15/2013 9:58 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The New Mexico Environment Department was in Jal Thursday after water from a well there tested positive for E. coli.  This has forced a boil water advisory for hundreds of homes.

The saying around Jal is, small town, big heart.

But Thursday the town got flipped upside down after the well that provides water to 700 homes tested positive for E. coli.

“Struggling. it's just hard because we can’t give him a bath, we can’t brush our teeth," said Jal Resident Carolyn Immel.

The town cancelled school for the day and shut down several businesses.

“I’m losing hours so now I’m going to have a very short check, I’m not going to be able to afford my bills so hopefully I can figure out something," said Immel.

“Yes the citizens of Jal are concerned about it. I’m very concerned about it. We've attacked this head on.  As soon as we were notified about it last night, we immediately jumped on the situation," said Public Works Director Van Myrick.

The New Mexico Environment Department is monitoring the well closely. 

“It’s a bacteria and it can make you very sick. If you drink it, it will give you gastrointestinal illness,” said Stephanie Stringer from the Drinking Water Bureau.

The Drinking Water Bureau said the bacteria causes diarrhea, vomiting, and in some cases can be deadly.

"This morning at 6:00 a.m. we started our first round of tests, we will not know until tomorrow morning approximately around 8:00 a.m.,” said Myrick.

Public Works is waiting on Thursday’s results to decide when to lift the boil water advisory.  They hope that will be within the next 48 hours.