RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Approximately 400,000 to 500,000 gallons of untreated sewage was pumped into the Rio Grande after a mechanical problem at a treatment plant, state officials said.
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."