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

Water System Projects- Engineering Program

Water System Modification, Design, & Construction

Quick Forms

Quick References

Project Submission Email:

All public water systems (PWS) or proposed public water systems are required to obtain written approval from the New Mexico Environment Department Drinking Water Bureau (DWB) before they undertake a public water system project under New Mexico Drinking Water Regulations.  A public water system project is defined as “the construction of a new public water system, modification to an existing public water system, or conversion of a non-public water system to a public water system”. The term “public” refers to those served by the water system, rather than the entity that owns the water system. An application and all supporting documentation should be submitted to the project submission email.

Types of Projects:

  • On-going and Routine Maintenance- No Notification nor Approval Required
    • Pipeline leak repair,
    • Replacement or repair of less than 1,000 linear feet of distribution pipeline within 60 calendar days,
    • Entry into a water storage facility for cleaning and maintenance,
    • Like for like replacement of chemical feed pumps and appurtenances,
    • Replacement of electrical or mechanical equipment and,
    • Replacement of equipment or pipeline appurtenances with the same type, size and rated capacity (fire hydrants, valves, pressure regulators, meters, service laterals, chemical feeders, booster pumps, and deep well pumps)
    • An application may be submitted if desired and a review will be conducted
  • Notification Only Projects- Notification Required but Approval not Required
    • Only the replacement or construction of more than 1,000 linear feet of distribution lines, or of appurtenances, pump stations, or pressure regulating facilities for which the public water system employs a registered professional engineer who is responsible for the project.
    • Installation of a hypochlorination system, including on-site hypochlorination generation system under the following conditions:
      • Water is supplied by groundwater not under the direct influence of surface water
      • The owner or operator of the system employs a water operator certified in New Mexico at the appropriate level
      • The certified operator is responsible for the project and certifies the inactivation ratio achieved by calculating the inactivation ratio on the application form.
  • Engineering Review- Review and Approval Required Prior to Bidding and Construction
    • Wells or Surface Water Sources
    • Storage Tanks (regardless of size)
    • Treatment (including secondary contaminant treatment)
    • Pumping Stations
    • Combination Projects of any of the above including waterlines associated with the project

Documentation Requirements for Each Project

  • Completed application form
  • One set of complete plans and specifications- Stamped by a NM Registered Professional Engineer
  • An engineering design summary- Engineering information that sets forth the basis of the design
  • A plan to disinfect the changed components prior to activation- Must be in conformance with the appropriate American Water Works Association (AWWA) for disinfection
  • Relevant information requested by the department to determine compliance
  • All materials and chemicals that will come in contact with the water must be NSF 61 and NSF 60 certified respectively. A link to the NSF website can be found in the quick reference section at the top of this page.
  • A letter from the Community Services Program demonstrating Technical, Managerial and Financial Capacity-For a new or converted public water system only
  • An engineering description of an appropriate foundation for storage tanks
  • Appropriate Office of the State Engineer permits for drilling and water use- Water sources only
  • Requirement for or results of analytical testing for primary and secondary contaminants
  • An inventory of potential contamination sources within 1,000-foot radius of a new water source
  • Project Submission Email:
  • Please utilize the subject line format- Water System Name, NM35XXXXX- Project Name
    • Example: The Red Balloon Restaurant, NM3590132- 10K Gal Welded Steel Tank
  • An email with a link to an FTP site with username and password is the preferred method to submit projects
  • An email message with attachments less than 50MB is also acceptable
    • Messages with a larger size than 50 MB will be rejected from the email system and no bounce back email will be sent to the sender.
  • Use the Application Checklist to ensure that the application has all the required supplemental items
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed

Each complete application will be reviewed for conformance with the New Mexico Drinking Water Regulations (NMAC 20.7.10) and the New Mexico Recommended Standards for Water Facilities. Links to the regulations and recommended standards can be found in the quick reference section at the top of this page.

Disinfection and bacteriological testing must be completed as part of any drinking water construction project.  The American Water Works Association (AWWA) maintains disinfection standards.  Proposed disinfection must, at a minimum, be equivalent to the most current versions of the following AWWA standards:

  • C651 – AWWA Standard for Disinfecting Water Mains
  • C652 – AWWA Standard for disinfection of Water-Storage Facilities
  • C653 – AWWA Standard for Disinfection of Water Treatment Plants
  • C654 – AWWA Standard for Disinfection of Wells

Change Orders

Before implementing a change to the approved project that affects the design capacity, operating units, the functioning of treatment, or the quality of water to be delivered, notify the drinking water bureau in writing using the approved project change order form. Change orders will be reviewed within 10 business days.

Notice of Project Completion

Submit Notice of Project Completion documentation per NMAC

    1. A copy of the certificate of project approval
    2. A written statement from a registered professional engineer or a representative of the water system that all of the conditions of project approval were accomplished
    3. Evidence of proper flushing and disinfection per the appropriate ANSI/AWWA standard and bacteriological sampling results.
    4. Other water quality data where appropriate (New Source sampling, treatment confirmation samples, etc…)
    5. All other documentation required during the review process
    6. Confirmation that the water system owner has been provided with an operation and maintenance manual for the new facility if appropriate.
    7. If a new source or incorporation of an existing source, copies of official documents filed with the office of the state engineer including well logs, proof of completion, water rights determinations, or completion of works for surface water infrastructure.
    8. Record drawings in electronic format within 120 days after completion of the project

Required Supplemental Documentation Detail

Capacity Demonstration

Proposed new systems or conversions of non-public systems to public must complete a technical, managerial, and financial capacity demonstration. The letter acknowledging that this demonstration has satisfactorily been completed from the DWB Community Service Coordinator must be submitted with the engineering application.

Managerial and Financial Capacity Demonstration

    • The DWB Service Area Map will identify the community services coordinator responsible for your area.
    • Please submit the required documentation to the community services coordinator at least 2-4 weeks before submitting the engineering application

Technical Capacity Demonstration

Technical Capacity – Public Water Systems must show that drinking water sources are adequate, that the system’s source, treatment, distribution and storage infrastructure are adequate and that personnel have the technical knowledge to effectively operate and maintain the system.

Minimum technical criteria

    • System has operator(s) certified at required level
    • A Distribution System Sample Plan (DSSP)
    • An Operation and Maintenance Plan (OMP)
    • An Emergency Response Plan (ERP).

Templates for the plans can be found in the quick reference section at the top of this page.

New Source– Wells or Surface Water Infrastructure

  • Prior to connection a new source shall be sampled for organic, inorganic & radiological contaminants to determine if treatment is required to meet regulatory maximum contaminant levels. The required sampling list can be found in the quick reference section at the top of this page.
  • Ground water (not under direct influence of surface water) projects requires an inventory of actual or potential sources of contamination within 1,000 feet of the source. At a minimum Appendix K should be used to identify land uses and potential sources of contamination. Guidance for creating the contaminant inventory and Appendix K can be found in the quick reference section at the top of this page.
  • Appropriate Office of the State Engineer Permits
    • Drilling permit
    • Well log and proof of completion (if well is existing)
    • Description of appropriate water rights at the source to supply the system.
  • New Public Drinking Water Wells are required to have a 50ft neat cement grout seal.
    • A variance can be applied for to allow for a shorter seal that describes additional protections at the surface of the well.
    • Conversion of existing wells should apply for the variance

Water Storage– Tanks

  • Must include a description of an adequate foundation
  • Greater than 10,000 gallons → a Geotechnical report of the site is required
  • Less than 10,000 gallons → a Geotechnical report is preferred but an engineering verification of foundation capacity to adequately hold the full tank under all conditions will be accepted
  • Must have provisions for sampling on the outlet of the tank
  • Must have access with at least 24-inches in one dimension
  • A variance can be applied for to allow for smaller access that describes no-access cleaning and maintenance plan and plans for restricting access.


  • All treatment projects, including treatment for secondary contaminants must submit an application for review and approval.
  • Projects that incorporate Best Available Technologies (BATs) will be reviewed within 45 days
  • Projects that propose treatment other than a BAT will be reviewed within 120 days.
    • A performance demonstration completed by a field-testing organization with the credentials stated in the regulations (NMAC 20.7.201.J) is required
  • Best available technologies (BAT) for treatment are identified in Subpart G of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations.

Notice of Significant Change in Disinfection

Surface Water Treatment and other Subpart H Systems:

  • Notify the Drinking Water Bureau when a significant change is made to its disinfection process including the following information:
    • Disinfection profile- graph of inactivation ratios calculated weekly during the previous year
    • Disinfection benchmark (lowest monthly average inactivation ratio from the profile)
    • Description of the proposed change in disinfection practice
    • An analysis of how the proposed change will affect the current level of disinfection
    • Filtered water temperature and pH
    • The lowest filtered water temperature and highest filtered water pH will be required for the inactivation calculations, unless supporting historical documentation of temperature and pH are provided.
    • CT calculations and inactivation ratio should be provided in as much detail as possible.
    • The required CT values for various temperatures and pH values can be found in 40 CFR 141.74 Tables 1.2 through 1.6. The values in these tables should be used to determine the inactivation ratio.
  • A table showing the CT values required for 99.9% (3-log) inactivation of Giardia lamblia at 0.5°C is given below.  For temperatures other than 0.5°C refer to NMAC incorporating 40 CFR 141.74 Tables 1.2 through 1.6.

Groundwater System- 4-log Virus Inactivation

    • Documentation of Chlorine Inactivation Level- This application includes the 4-log virus inactivation table
    • The Hypochlorination Checklist can be used to ensure the application is complete
    • The Documentation of Chlorine Inactivation Application and Hypochlorination checklist can be found in the quick forms section at the top of this page.

Project Application Denial

The Department may deny an application for a public water system project, in whole or in part, if the Department determines that one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • any maximum contaminant level (MCL) or treatment technique set forth at 40 CFR Part 141 will not be met after completion of the project;
  • any other requirement of 20.7.10 NMAC will not be met after completion of the project;
  • the design of the project is inconsistent with generally acceptable standards for construction of public water systems and their components including, but not limited to, the recommended standards for water facilities, Construction Programs Bureau, New Mexico Environment Department;
  • the design of the project will not meet project goals;
  • the public water system does not demonstrate sufficient technical, managerial or financial capacity;
  • an existing or planned source of actual or potential contamination may adversely impact a water source proposed to be utilized by the system; to make this determination, the Department may require the applicant to submit to the department analyses relating to hydrogeological, soil or ground water conditions at the site, and information regarding proposed technology or installation methods that may be employed to prevent or mitigate the impact of the contaminant source on the water source; or
  • a regulated contaminant or disinfectant will be injected into the source (e.g., chlorine pellet drop system).

Public Potable Water Hauling

“Water Hauler” means a person in the business of transporting by vehicle, water intended for human consumption to at least 15 service connections or who regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year.

Water Hauler Application Requirements

  • Completed and Signed Application Form- The application form can be found in the quick forms section at the top of this page.
  • Evidence that the water tank used for transport and other delivery components are approved for contact with water for human consumption- Must be NSF 61 certified or certified food grade.
  • A declaration that the water tank and other water delivery components have never come into contact with a non-potable or non-food grade product
  • Or, a declaration listing any components and evidence that the tank or other components have been sufficiently reconditioned to enable potable water hauling
  • A detailed description or picture of each tank and other delivery component to ensure the following features:
    • Hatches or openings have water tight covers,
    • The tank allows for complete draining
    • All hoses and other dispensing units are equipped with water tight caps
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the water hauling vehicle
  • A contract with a public water system or other documentation demonstrating that the water will come from a New Mexico drinking water system that is included in the safe drinking water information system (SDWIS) inventory
    • The system providing the water must already provide chlorination
  • A description of the water hauling operation including:
    • Procedures for obtaining the water,
    • How water will be stored (if applicable),
    • Treatment of the water if necessary and,
    • Delivery of the water including connection points or storage facilities that will distribute the water
  • A disinfection plan for routine and seasonal disinfection of each tank
    • This should be in conformance with AWWA C652 and include:
      • The type of chlorine used,
      • How the chlorine concentration will be measured,
      • The amount of time the highly chlorinated water will be left in the tank,
      • Disposal methods for the highly chlorinated water
  • Each tank must be disinfected before filling the tank for delivery if it has not been used for more than eight (8) consecutive days or after every three (3) months of continuous use.
  • A certified water hauler must keep records including but not limited to:
    • The disinfectant residual at the same time and place water is obtained from the public water system,
    • The disinfectant residual immediately prior to delivery to the customer,
    • The date and time that each water hauling truck/tank is disinfected
  • Once the application is approved the proposed water hauler is subject to an inspection of the water hauling application prior to hauling water for human consumption