I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Posts Tagged Town of Bernalillo
The Town of Bernalillo has decided to scrap a $5.1 million system that failed to control arsenic levels and dumped sludge into residents’ tap water. But the town has no immediate plans to go after the former town manager or fired project engineer to recoup any of the money the town spent on the malfunctioning system. Meanwhile, the Green Ridge water association in Tijeras is moving ahead with plans to install a similar system.
Thanks to past mismanagement of the town’s budget, Bernalillo will have to make do without a police chief, fire chief, Town treasurer, Town manager, or geographic information technician for the time being. The town’s new mayor says his predecessor failed to budget for a $1.64 million loan payment for public works.
Iron treatments show promise for reducing arsenic levels in Bernalillo drinking water. But sludge from the treatment process continues to leak into the Town’s water supply. Clues suggest a fired engineer’s filter-cleaning design is at least partly to blame for the Town’s water woes.
In a guest opinion column in the Albuquerque Journal Thursday, former Bernalillo Town manager Stephen Jerge argued that fired Town engineer Ramesh Narasimhan’s engineering is not to blame for Bernalillo’s malfunctioning drinking water treatment…
Former Bernalillo engineer Ramesh Narasimhan told The Independent and Town officials in February that…
The Green Ridge Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association in Tijeras plans to install a controversial aluminum-based treatment system designed by Bernalillo-based ARS-USA to treat high fluoride and arsenic levels, Association members and project engineer Andrew Robertson have told The Independent. Green Ridge will be the second water system in the U.S. to use the system, and hopes to avoid the expensive problems the first user, the Town of Bernalillo, has encountered.
The Town of Bernalillo will give away cottonwood seedlings from the State Forestry Division Thursday starting at 11 a.m., at El Molino building, across from the Bernalillo Rail Runner station. The give-away is part of the Town’s
It is the Town’s latest attempt to bring arsenic…
Bernalillo has been operating its troubled drinking water arsenic filtration system in violation of state law since 2008, according to Environment Department officials. But the state’s own documentation of the project is missing at least two key documents, The Independent has found. The state has no plans to take enforcement action against the Town, which has cooperated fully with the state in its efforts to fix the malfunctioning system, officials say.
After a controversial system failed to bring Bernalillo’s tap water into compliance with federal regulations, the town’s new contract water engineering firm has received approval from the state Environment Department to begin using iron treatments to reduce levels of arsenic in the water. But tackling a problem with aluminum sludge, caused by the old system, is too difficult and expensive to tackle just yet.
Bernalillo has suspended plans to construct a $9.2 million arsenic treatment system at two of the Town’s four wells, Mayor Jack Torres announced this week. Town engineers are now attempting to fix problems at new treatment facilities already installed at the two other wells, he said.
Contract water system engineer Ramesh Narasimhan’s firm, NCS, was fired Tuesday and the Town will seek undisclosed damages, Mayor Patricia Chavez announced. The move followed news that the state Environment Department would issue a second drinking water violation for high arsenic levels.
Arsenic levels at both of Bernalillo’s active wells have jumped over the past three years, and the New Mexico Environment Department announced Tuesday it will issue the Town a second arsenic violation notice by next week. The town’s project engineer, Ramesh Narasimhan, is now considering supplementation of the Town’s aluminum-based arsenic removal system with iron treatments — an approach recommended in a 2006 engineering report scuttled by former town manager Stephen Jerge. At Narasimhan’s recommendation, Jerge opted instead for the Town’s no-bid purchase of the aluminum-based system, which is produced by a Bernalillo firm.
Two years after Bernalillo spent at least $4.9 million installing new water treatment equipment, the state Environment Department will now step in to help the town address problems with the system and drinking water quality, a Department spokeswoman told The Independent.
Instead of consistently bringing the town drinking water’s arsenic levels into compliance with federal drinking water standards, Bernalillo’s new water treatment system has repeatedly pushed aluminum to levels exceeding federal standards. Residents’ complaints started in summer 2009 and occurred as recently as last month–but the town’s contract engineer Ramesh Narasimhan knew about the problem nearly a year earlier, as did former Town manager Stephen Jerge, Narasimhan claims.
Two years after Bernalillo spent at least $4.9 million building new arsenic filtration systems for the Town’s drinking water, lab tests suggest they are not working. The state Environment Department issued a violation letter Tuesday, stating that water from one of the Town’s two active wells exceeds federal and state water standards for arsenic. The violation notice came just a week after the Town council voted to spend another $9.2 million to install the system on its remaining two wells — lest it lose $4 million in federal stimulus funding for the water system improvements.
A Town of Bernalillo contract engineer provided Arizona Cardinals playoff tickets to then-Town manager Stephen Jerge and a water department official last January, he has admitted—and the contractor’s wife hired Jerge to work at her firm after he resigned as Town manager in the midst of a financial scandal last April.