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(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)
New Mexico
Environment Department
Drinking Water Bureau

Sanitary Surveys

A sanitary survey is a review of a public water system to assess their capability to supply safe drinking water. The New Mexico Environment Department’s Drinking Water Bureau (NMED DWB) conducts sanitary surveys at all public water systems located within the state.   Public water systems are responsible for ensuring the survey takes place.

Sanitary Survey Elements

A sanitary survey enables the NMED DWB to provide a comprehensive and accurate review of the components of a water system, to assess the operating condition and adequacy of the water system, and to determine if past recommendations have been implemented effectively. The Sanitary Survey encompasses eight specific elements that are evaluated during the survey.  Those eight elements are:

  • Source (Protection, Physical Components, and Condition);
  • Treatment
  • Distribution System
  • Finished Water Storage
  • Pumps/Pump Facilities and Controls
  • Monitoring/Reporting/Data Verification
  • Water System Management/Operations
  • Operator Compliance with State Requirements

Frequency of Sanitary Surveys

  • Community Water System (CWS) – Every 3 Years
  • Non-Community Water System (NCWS) – Every 5 Years

Significant Deficiencies

The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations state that significant deficiencies include, but are not limited to, defects in design, operation, or maintenance, or a failure or malfunction of the sources, treatment, storage, or distribution system that the State determines to be causing, or have potential for causing, the introduction of contamination into the water delivered to consumers.

During the sanitary survey the NMED DWB may identify significant deficiencies that the water systems are required to correct.  In order to maintain consistency when identifying significant deficiencies, the NMED DWB has developed Significant Deficiency Policies which identify deficiencies that may be cited during sanitary surveys.  Those policies may be viewed here:

Corrective Actions

When significant deficiencies are identified during sanitary surveys, public water systems must correct those significant deficiencies within specified timeframes. 

Ground Water Systems

  • Unless the State directs the ground water system to implement a specific corrective action, the ground water system must consult with the NMED DWB regarding the appropriate corrective action within 30 days of receiving written notice from the State of a significant deficiency
  • The NMED DWB requires that this initial consultation be conducted in writing in the form of a “Corrective Action Plan”.  This corrective action plan must state how and on what timeframes the water system will correct each identified significant deficiency.
  • Within 120 days (or earlier if directed by NMED DWB) of written notification from the NMED DWB of a significant deficiency the water system must be in compliance with a corrective action plan.
  • Any subsequent modifications to the corrective action plan and compliance schedule must also be approved by the NMED DWB.  These requests must be submitted in the form of a written extension request.
  • All extension requests must be submitted prior to the corrective action deadline.

Surface Water Systems

  • Systems must respond in writing to significant deficiencies identified in sanitary survey reports no later than 45 days of the report date, indicating how and on what schedule the system will address significant deficiencies noted in the survey.
  • The NMED DWB requires that this response be in writing in the form of a “Corrective Action Plan”.  This corrective action plan must state how and on what timeframes the water system will correct each identified significant deficiency.
  • Systems must correct significant deficiencies identified in sanitary survey reports according to the approved corrective action plan.  If the system does not submit a corrective action plan, the significant deficiencies must be corrected no later than 45 days of the report date.
  • Any subsequent modifications to the corrective action plan and compliance schedule must also be approved by the NMED DWB.  These requests must be submitted in the form of a written extension request.
  • All extension requests must be submitted prior to the corrective action deadline.

Preparing for Sanitary Surveys

Prior to a sanitary survey a compliance Officer from the NMED DWB will contact you and arrange a date for the survey to be conducted.  The water system should ensure that all records that are requested by the NMED DWB should be readily available and easily located for review during the survey.  Additionally all water system facilities should be accessible for compliance officers to conduct their inspections of those facilities.   

The NMED DWB has prepared this document to assist water systems in preparing for their Sanitary Surveys. 

If Public Water System officials have questions about the sanitary survey process you should contact your assigned compliance officer.  Contact information for NMED DWB Compliance Staff can be found on the NMED DWB Directory

Information about public water systems, including the name of the water system’s assigned compliance officer can be found in the Drinking Water Watch database.

 

 

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Quick Contact:

Runnels Building
1190 St Francis Drive
Suite S-2050
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

Phone: (505) 476-8620
Or -----(877) 654-8720

P O Box 5469
Santa Fe, NM 87502

Harold L. Runnels Building // 1190 St. Francis Drive, Suite N4050 // Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 // tel (800) 219-6157, (505) 827-2855

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