It was not until residents of a community in Cuernavaca, Morelos, complained their water smelled and tasted of gasoline that local authorities did some tests.
The tests proved positive on Friday, leading to the suspension of water service to Ocotopec, a town of about 15,000 located to the north of the city of Cuernavaca, and several other communities.
Water officials suspect there might be a leak in the petroleum distribution network, which passes within 80 meters of the aquifer that is the water source for the affected area.
The municipality’s water system, Sapac, is working with Pemex and Civil Protection officials to determine the source of the contamination, while water deliveries are being provided to affected homes.
Work began on the weekend to clean three wells that draw water from the aquifer in question. More tests were scheduled for today to determine if the water is clean and if service can be restored.