In an effort to protect New Mexico’s water, Bernalillo County will seek more information from the estimated 2,000 county property owners with unpermitted septic systems.
This fall, the county’s Environmental Health Office will send about 2,000 letters to property owners that may be producing wastewater but have no permit on file. The letters will ask the property owners to apply for one if they don’t have one.
Part of the permit application will include an inspection to determine whether the system is working properly.
The goal of the project is to ensure that all septic systems in the county have permits.
Homeowners would pay for the inspections, if necessary. Financial support is available for low-income families that qualify.
“We’re making an effort to reach out to homeowners to make sure our records are up to date and that Bernalillo County’s septic systems are working properly and not causing excessive pollution to our precious water resources,” says George Schroeder, environmental health manager.
“Homeowners will have the opportunity to update the records and comply with this ordinance. It’s possible that the homeowner has more complete records than the county, and this is a chance to update the files.”
Although the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority has extended sewer service to many rural areas in Bernalillo County, not all areas have that service. Property owners with unpermitted septic systems generally don’t have access to that service.
Today, there are roughly 20,000 permitted septic systems in Bernalillo County.
Financial assistance is available to both pay for the inspections and in some cases rebuild or replace failing septic systems and waste pools. Income guidelines and other factors apply.
Call the Bernalillo County Environmental Health Office for more information at 505.314.0310.
To view a copy of a wastewater system permit application, click here.
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