The Board of County Commissioners on Oct. 28, 2014 unanimously approved changes to the Bernalillo County Wastewater Systems Ordinance to prevent groundwater pollution from aging septic systems starting July 1, 2015. 

The amended ordinance requires evaluation of on-site residential wastewater systems that are more than 30 years old and require repair or replacement when necessary; it also defines circumstances under which conventional septic systems may be replaced, based on the geology and the number and spacing of surrounding wastewater systems; and updates technical requirements to align the county ordinance with recently adopted state regulations.

The amendment calls for:

  • evaluation of septic tanks greater than 30 years in age;
  • residents to complete the initial evaluation within five years from the 30th anniversary date;
  • a recurring, five-year evaluation of functioning septic systems greater than 30 years in age; and
  • the replacement of septic systems found to be failing.

The county has income-based financial assistance programs available to help residents connect to sewer or to assist with evaluation, repair or replacement of septic systems.

To read the full ordinance, please click here.

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