A water treatment plant will help provide the Navajo Nation and surrounding areas with clean drinking water.
Construction is complete on a water treatment plant in New Mexico that will help provide the Navajo Nation and surrounding areas with clean drinking water.
The project is the result of a settlement agreement over water rights in the San Juan Basin, reported KRQE.
There is construction still underway on other parts of the system, however.
The treatment plant was constructed in two phases in order to receive San Juan River water for treatment and then delivery by pipeline to Navajo communities and the southwest portion of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, reported KRQE.
The treatment plant is located on an area administered by the Bureau of Land Management near Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle in northwestern New Mexico and will receive river water via two reservoirs and pumping plants. The plant will remove sediments, organic matter and microbial contaminants from the water to ensure the supply meets state drinking water standards.
According to the bureau, it will test and monitor the treatment plant and the pipeline for the next six months while the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority introduces water from the plant into six distribution systems, reported the Farmington Daily Times.
After pre-commissioning the bureau will hand off operations, maintenance and replacement responsibilities to the Navajo utility.
“To know that there can be a clean, reliable water supply is so important for health. It’s so important for safety. It’s overwhelmingly important for building a strong economy on the Navajo Nation,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman.
According to Navajo President Jonathan Nez, the plant and pipeline completion will help with economic development in communities along the U.S. Highway 550.
The plant was designed to treat a peak flow of 3.5 million gallons per day and has the capability to treat 5.4 million gallons per day in the future.