New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Drinking Water Bureau

Drinking Water Laws & Regulations

The oversight of public water systems by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Drinking Water Bureau (DWB) is guided by laws and regulations. The primary law governing public water systems is the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delegated SDWA primacy to the New Mexico Environment Department, authorizing it to enforce the law in New Mexico.

Federal Statutes

Safe Drinking Water Act

The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. §300f et seq. (1974); Pub. L. 93-523, Title XIV) is the federal law that protects public drinking water supplies throughout the nation.  Under the SDWA, the EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and implements various technical and financial programs with its partners to ensure drinking water safety. The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations are the regulations set by the EPA.

New Mexico Statutes

Environmental Improvement Act (74-1 NMSA)

New Mexico passed the Environmental Improvement Act in 1978, which requires NMED to maintain, develop and enforce rules and standards for public water supplies.  The New Mexico Drinking Water Regulations incorporate the federal standards and also inslude state specific regulations.  State regulations must be at least as stringer as the federal standards.

20.7.10 NMAC

Sanitary Projects Act (3-29-1 through 3-29-21 NMSA)

The New Mexico Sanitary Projects Act (SPA) was passed with the intent to improve public health in rural areas by allowing for an entity to organize as a political subdivision of the State. The public entities created under the SPA are empowered to receive public funds for water infrastructure improvements and to operate and maintain the water facilities for the public good.

Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Act

New Mexico passed the New Mexico Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Act in 1978, which was passed to create a self-sustaining revolving loan program for water infrastructure improvements.  This Act established the New Mexico Finance Authority as the administrator of the Fund with cooperation and assistance from NMED, as specified in the Act.

Utility Operator Certification Act (20-7-4 NMSA)

New Mexico passed the Utility Operator Certification Act in 1978, which specifies minimum standards for certification (and recertification) of the operators of public water supply systems and public wastewater facilities.

61-33-1 through 61-33-10 NMSA

Water & Sanitation Districts Act ( 73-21-1 through 73-21-55 NMSA)

New Mexico passed the Water & Sanitation Districts Act in 1978 to allow the creation of such districts for the purposes of purchasing, acuiring, establishing, or constructing waterworks, sewers, and street improvements.



NOTE: Current versions of New Mexico’s statutes and rules are available from the New Mexico Compilation Commission. This Commission offers subscription based access for print and electronic versions of New Mexico laws.