New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.
Kenny Vigil
505-827-2619 Office
505-470-2290 Mobile

Never to Drink Untreated Surface Water

August 14, 2015 - Public Relations - Alert

Two individuals from New Mexico who say they consumed water directly from the Animas River, following the Gold King Mine spill, contacted the Department of Health and New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center. The individuals contacted the Department of Health and New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center to receive advice because they drank river water a few days after the spill. The Department of Health worked collaboratively with the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center to recommend which laboratory tests should be conducted.

“Drinking untreated water from any river, lake or stream could pose health risks – even if there are not visible signs of contamination,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “When you consume untreated water from surface sources, you run the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses and other potential contaminants.”

No other individuals have contacted the Department of Health about drinking river water following the spill. Any New Mexico resident who consumed water directly from the Animas River following the mine spill, can contact the Department of Health’s on-call epidemiologist via the Reporting & Surveillance Hotline at 505-827-0006.

Due to patient privacy laws, the Department of Health and the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center cannot and will not release any more details about the individuals.


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We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Kenny Vigil at 505-827-2619 (Office) or 505-470-2290 (Mobile) with your questions.


Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

El Departamento de Salud Aconseja a los Residentes el Nunca Beber Aguas Superficiales Sin Tratar