After city issues notice to boil water, no bacteria or petroleum hydrocarbons found


Van Horn has long been known for its mountain scenery and its delicious, high-quality water drawn from its aquifer.

The subject of water quality has never been an issue, until the Town of Van Horn on Monday issued a “Notice To Boil Water.”

As expected, the notice caused a panic for the local residents, not understanding what was taking place.

According to Dion Corralez, Utilities Manager at the Town of Van Horn, the city received several complaints about foul-tasting water from several customers. Some complained that the water had an oily smell and taste to it.

Mr. Corralez told the Advocate that out of an abundance of caution, the Town of Van Horn decided that while quality water tests were conducted, the city would issue the public notice to boil water.

As soon as local residents learned about the boil notice, they rushed to Pueblo Market and Dollar General to buy bottled water, and the bottled water supply was immediately depleted. However, Higginbotham Brothers Hardware was able to fill in the gap with two pallets of bottled water.

On Tuesday evening, Mayor Glenn Humphries issued the following news release:

“The Town of Van Horn water department was notified of an oily smell and taste in the water supply on Saturday evening, January 10, 2015.  The Town of Van Horn addressed the complaints and gathered water samples for testing.  As a precautionary measure, the Town of Van Horn voluntarily decided it would be in the public’s best interest to notify customers of the need to boil water prior to consumption pending test results.  The water samples were submitted to a laboratory for both bacterial/microbial tests and tests for the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons.

The first test result was received Tuesday, January 13, and shows no microbes/bacteria present in the water. The petroleum hydrocarbon results are due by 3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14.  Current information as well as a photo of the test results, and all updates can be seen at online.  Please contact City Hall if there are any further questions. Thank you for your patience.”

On Wednesday, around 1:30 p.m., the Advocate received word from Mr. Humphries that the testing for petroleum hydrocarbons (oil) was negative.


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