State of New Mexico > Environment Department > Drinking Water Bureau

Safe Drinking Water Act Compliance Monitoring and Reporting

Click HERE to access the Online Sampling Tool for Certified Samplers.


EPA posted the final UNREGULATED CONTAMINANT MONITORING RULE (UCMR3) INFORMATION on May 2, 2012, which provides complete information on UCMR3 compliance requirements. The Drinking Water Bureau is not managing the UCMR3 compliance program in New Mexico; monitoring will be guided and managed directly by the EPA.

This rule applies to the Public Water Systems (PWS) listed on EPA’s FINAL STATE MONITORING PLAN for New Mexico.  Each listed PWS serving a population greater than 10,000 will see a column marked “SS?” which indicates whether it needs to complete the list of testing required for the screening survey.  Public water systems required to sample in any category will be assigned a specific sampling period between January 2013 and December 2015.

The EPA certifies labs to conduct these analyses and will post a list of labs on the EPA website once it is complete.  The NM Water Conservation Fund is not authorized to pay for the analysis of any unregulated contaminants; therefore the Drinking Water Bureau will not be collecting these samples or paying for their analyses. Contact the EPA UCMR3 coordinator, Chris Frebis at with any questions regarding UCMR3.


All PWS are responsible for assuring the monitoring and reporting requirements in 40 CFR 141 are being met.  The PWS is responsible for having a certified operator or sampler collect all water quality samples that monitor the distribution system, which includes: microbiological, lead and copper, disinfection byproducts, and asbestos.  The Drinking Water Bureau’s certified samplers collect water samples prior to distribution to ensure compliance. For more information on how to become certified to collect samples, go to our OPERATOR CERTIFICATION page.


All PWS (except federal and tribal facilities) are required to pay a water conservation fee of $0.03 per 1000 gallons of water produced to the WATER CONSERVATION FUND. This fee is collected through the Taxation and Revenue Department and is used by the Drinking Water Bureau to pay the cost of required water quality analyses and collection.  Please contact the Taxation and Revenue Department Revenue Processing Division at 505-827-0763 for more information on the water conservation fee.


Search the Drinking Water Bureau compliance database, DRINKING WATER WATCH, for current sample schedules for each PWS in New Mexico.  Basic chemical monitoring requirements can be found in EPA's STANDARDIZED MONITORING FRAMEWORK.  Some chemical monitoring requirements currently have waivers for specific monitoring periods.  For questions on current monitoring waivers, contact Don Clark at 575-762-3728 or An overview of the microbiological monitoring requirements is described in EPA's TOTAL COLIFORM RULE QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE.  Each PWS is assigned a Drinking Water Bureau water system specialist who can assist with compliance of monitoring requirements; go to the CONTACT US page for a complete staff listing.


New Mexico certified operators and samplers that are associated with a PWS may REGISTER TO LOG IN to the online Drinking Water Sample Collection Application to track PWS monitoring electronically.  DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS ON REGISTERING AND USING THE TRACKING SYSTEM. Please make sure that your NM certification is current and registered with the appropriate PWS in the NM UTILITY OPERATOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM DATABASE.


Certified samplers should contact a lab on contract with the Drinking Water Bureau for proper sample collection bottles and instructions for collection of compliance samples to be paid for by Drinking Water Bureau.  The Drinking Water Bureau provides general written guidance as a reference for the collection of ASBESTOS, LEAD AND COPPER, and DISINFECTION BYPRODUCTS samples that the operator must monitor for in the distribution system of the PWS.  These instructions are supplemental and do not replace any specific instructions received from a lab.  Proper sample collection locations should be determined by a Drinking Water Bureau-approved sample siting plan.  AWWA also provides a VIDEO REVIEW on sample collection techniques. 

Compliance water samples submitted to labs improperly may be rejected by the lab.  Reasons for sample rejection at the lab includes improper collection or preservation, incomplete information on the sample request form, Chain of Custody not signed and dated by the sample collector, or damage to the sample during transport.  Contract labs should give samplers 24 hours to correct any issues with sample request forms for compliance reporting before sample rejection.  Samples submitted to labs that do not meet compliance schedule requirements will not be paid for by the Drinking Water Bureau. Samples collected at the wrong time of year or outside of the scheduled monitoring period will not be paid for under the Water Conservation Fund.


Laboratories must be certified by the Drinking Water Bureau in order to perform Safe Drinking Water Act compliance analyses for PWS.  In order to pay for compliance analyses from the Water Conservation Fund, the Drinking Water Bureau establishes contracts with Drinking Water Bureau-certified laboratories, which include requirements to meet the federal compliance reporting regulations.  Certified samplers may send samples to any of the LABORATORIES ON CONTRACT in order to have the Drinking Water Bureau pay for the analyses.  PWS that wish to pay for their own analyses for any reason can send samples to any of the NM DRINKING WATER CERTIFIED LABORATORIES; however the PWS is then responsible to ensure that the results are reported to the Drinking Water Bureau properly.  All labs certified to perform drinking water compliance testing in New Mexico are able to report to the Drinking Water Bureau’s database electronically upon request of the water system.  Any questions on appropriate laboratories should be directed to Oneva Pena at 505-476-8648 or

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