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

Enforcement

The New Mexico Environment Department Drinking Water Bureau (DWB) enforces the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the New Mexico drinking water regulations and the New Mexico Sanitary Projects Act through the DWB Enforcement Program.  Public water system (PWS) violations can result in one or more of the following actions to achieve compliance:

  • Notice of Violation
  • Administrative Order (AO)
  • Administrative Order with Penalties
  • Settlement Agreement

If violations directly threaten public health and the system has been acting in bad faith, the initial enforcement action can be an Administrative Order with Penalties.

Enforcement Policy

NMED DWB’s Enforcement and Penalty Policy

Administrative Orders

An AO contains:

  • Statement of the violations
  • Timeframe for coming back into compliance
  • Consequences for failure to comply

Administrative Order with Penalties

The amount of a penalty depends on:

  • Number of violations
  • Number of days a PWS has been in violation
  • PWS good faith or bad faith actions
  • Statutory limits
    1. Violation of drinking water regulations (maximum $1,000 per day per violation)
    2. Violation of Utility Operator Certification Act or regulations (maximum $2,500 per violation per day)
    3. Violations of Sanitary Projects Act (maximum $250 per day of noncompliance with an AO)

Assistance with Return to Compliance

DWB will work with a PWS to assist with a return to compliance. Compliance schedules can be extended as long as the system is making a good faith effort to return to compliance.  A PWS must make a formal request to the DWB to extend a compliance schedule.

List of Open Enforcement Actions

The DWB provides a list of open enforcement actions for New Mexico public water systems.  For additional information, contact the DWB Enforcement Coordinator.