By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Mike Trujillo, frustrated by low pressure in his water lines, turned his vehicle into a billboard and took his cause to First Street and Route 66.
Trujillo who lives on Quay Road 64 near the Tucumcari Municipal Airport said his home often has little, if any, water during the day.
“When you live in the country you expect to lose water a couple of times a month,” Trujillo said. “But it’s progressively gotten worse… it’s gone from two times, three times and one time a week to now, it’s an everyday occurrence.”
A member of the RAD, or the Rural Area Development coop, Trujillo’s water comes from RAD, which gets it water from the city of Tucumcari.
Trujillo said it’s an inconvenience not to able to get water during the day and that it’s important for the city and RAD to offer good service.
Another resident Alida Brown said, “What if there were a fire and we didn’t’ have the pressure.”
After putting up his protest, Trujillo said he was asked by city officials to leave the parking lot on the intersection because he was parked on private property, a defunct Hardee’s restaurant lot.
Trujillo said he understood, but also expressed exasperation because he said it didn’t seem that anyone was working on a solution.
On Friday, Clara Rey of the city of Tucumcari said, “I don’t blame him and it’s very frustrating,”
However, Rey said that the city had checked all its valves and other supply lines and that everything is okay. In addition, city water officials have been working with RAD to determine the cause of the problem.
President of RAD, Phillip Box, said, said that RAD has called in the state’s Environment Department and the Rural Water Association to help them find the cause.
“There’s some kind of gremlin” that no one has been able to find to solve the problem, Box said.
In the meantime, RAD and Trujillo are trying to develop more data to determine the cause. Trujillo now has a pressure gauge on his water supply at his residence.
RAD, which has about 200 coop members, was using about 3.75 million gallons of water in July 2004 compared to its current usage of 2.25 million gallons between May 15 and June 15, Box said.
“So we don’t think it’s the number of users,” Box said.
The problem is also intermittent which makes it hard to solve.
Trujillo has come in town to say the water pressure is bad and by the time he has driven back home, it’s OK, Box said.
Box said they hope to have some information from outside inspectors that would lead to a solution at the next RAD water users meeting on July 3.
The RAD meeting is at 6 p.m., July 3, Norton Fire Station, Norton. For information call 487-0430.