Cleaning Up the Rio Grande

New Mexico – New Mexico's largest water utility has announced a plan aimed at keeping pharmaceuticals out of the state's longest water way, the Rio Grande.

The announcement by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority follows a recent discovery of caffeine in the river, where Albuquerque draws its drinking water.

While it was only a trace amount, the water authority said it wanted to step up testing of both raw and treated water to determine the amount of pharmaceuticals in the water.

As part of the new program to keep pharmaceuticals out of the water flowing downstream through New Mexico and into Texas and Mexico, the authority will educate residents on how to properly dispose of old and unwanted medications.

Fliers will be included with monthly bills starting in October.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press