Lea County Puts Out Reward On 'Water Dumpers'

May 12, 2014

A byproduct of oil and gas drilling known as produced water is being dumped on the side of county roads in the middle of the night in southeastern New Mexico.
Credit inlandwest via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Officials in Lea County want residents to help catch an oilfield company they say is dumping produced water on the side of the county roads.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the Lea County Soil and Water Conservation District announced last week it will give out a $1,000 reward for information on the water dumpers.

Produced water is a term used in the oil industry to describe water that is produced as a byproduct along with the oil and gas.

Lea County Soil and Water Conservation District President John Norris says the company is dumping the water late at night all over the county. He says the Oil Conservation Division doesn't have enough people to police it.

Norris says the produced water could contaminate water supplies through runoff or leeching.

Wally Drangmeister is with the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and told KUNM that it is very disappointing to have a rogue company out there doing something like this.