State of New Mexico > Environment Department > Drinking Water Bureau


Arsenic occurs naturally in groundwater in many locations and public water systems around New Mexico (view a MAP OF NM WATER SYSTEM WELLS WITH ELEVATED ARSENIC CONCENTRATIONS). Arsenic is colorless and tasteless.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 0.01 parts per million (mg/l) or 10 parts per billion (ug/l).

Long term (chronic) exposure to Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidneys, nasal passages, liver and prostate.  Health effects from short term (acute) exposure to high doses of Arsenic can include damage to the liver and kidneys.

In response to the risks from chronic exposure to Arsenic, the EPA published the ARSENIC RULE in 2001 which reduced the MCl to it's current level.  EPA has a QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE for the Arsenic Rule available.

For more information on health impacts from Arsenic, check the Agency For Toxic Substances & Disease Registry ARSENIC TOXICITY PAGE .

New Mexico has created a STATE ARSENIC COMPLIANCE STRATEGY to assist water systems impacted by Arsenic.  For additional information on compliance and treatment, go to EPA's COMPLIANCE HELP PAGE .

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