Plant Dumps Sewage Into Rio Grande

Friday, July 14th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Up to 500,000 gallons of untreated sewage flowed into the Rio Grande after a mechanical problem at a treatment plant.

The state Environment Department warned people down river from the plant near Albuquerque to stay out of the Rio Grande. Officials said they were unsure Thursday night how far the waste had traveled.

Tito Madrid, director of field operations for the agency, said the sewage from Waste Water Treatment Plant No. 2 went into the river over a four-hour span Thursday.

``Rio Rancho staff is trying to fix it and mediate the damage,'' he said. ``The discharge now is a lot clearer, and sludge and solids aren't present in the water.''

Madrid said the spill would not affect Albuquerque's drinking water because the city uses deep wells to tap into the aquifer.