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Cuba Water Tank
Levi Casaus Jr., an operator for Cuba’s water department, sits near a tank at the village’s main water filtration plant. (Theresa Davis/Albuquerque Journal)

CUBA – Richard Velarde once spent hours with a wire hanger in hand, slowly scraping away the calcium deposits in his water heater. It’s a common water problem for the Village of Cuba, where Velarde is serving his second stint as mayor.

“Sometimes you open your faucet and nothing will come out because the buildup is so bad,” he said. “The little sprayer hoses on the side of the sink – you can’t use those here. You better have filters if you want to save your water heaters and washing machines.”