Prior to the transfer of a property with an established on-site liquid waste system, the transferor of the property shall have the system evaluated, per NMAC. Property Transfer Evaluation Process

Permit Search

  • This step can take up to 10 days to complete, and should be done as soon as possible. Not having a permit will require a system to be registered and may delay your project.
  • The below methods of conducting a permit search require the use of forms that have complex programing built in. As a result, the forms work best when opened with Adobe Acrobat. Conduct a liquid waste permit search by either:
  • Conducting your own permit search. This is the preferred method, because you know your property description the best. If you are able to find you permit, this method is also faster. The do-it-yourself permit search page provides access to all system permits installed before 2017, you must contact our local field office for those systems installed in 2017 or after.
  • you (or your authorized representative) may complete the permit search request form and send to your local NMED Field Office to request their assistance in finding a liquid waste permit number. It is important that you fill out this form completely. Incomplete forms may result in a false No-Permit-Found. Searching for permits is an art and, in most cases, is not as simple as typing in an address.

Steps to Evaluate your Septic System:

  • After you find a permit number, contact your local field office and request a copy of the permit file.
  • If the system is permitted, a qualified evaluator may proceed to evaluate the permitted system prior to transfer and provide the Department approved evaluation report to NMED within 15 days of the evaluation.
  • NMED will charge a $50 fee to be paid before the report is date stamped as received. The evaluation report, an official record will be provided for your use in property transfers. The department will place a copy on file with the permit.
  • For advanced treatment systems and holding tanks, at the time of transfer of ownership, the new owner shall submit an amendment of permit updating the ownership change and also provide the department a copy of the valid maintenance and sampling contract in the name of the new owner.

Unpermitted Systems & Registrations

  • If the owner is unable to provide evidence of a permit and the department cannot find an associated permit in the files the system is then considered un-permitted. The system may be registered/permitted if it passes inspection by either an NMED Inspector or an Installer Specialist.
  • If an un-permitted system fails evaluation, the owner is responsible for obtaining a permit to remedy any deficiencies found during evaluation.

Property Transfer Regulatory Requirements:

  • Section NMAC – Prior to the transfer of a property with an established on-site liquid waste system, the transferor of the property shall have the system evaluated. Liquid waste systems shall be evaluated by an evaluator qualified in accordance with Subsection B of NMAC utilizing a department approved form. Unpermitted liquid waste systems shall be registered pursuant to Subsections J of NMAC or permitted pursuant to Subsection K of NMAC.
  • Section NMAC – Evaluations shall be recorded on forms approved by the department. Evaluation reports shall be kept on file by the evaluator of the on-site liquid waste system. Evaluators shall submit to the department copies of all evaluation reports, whether completed or not, within 15 days of the evaluation. A permit or variance application shall be submitted within 15 days of the evaluation by the party who is or will be the owner of the property on the 15th day following the evaluation to correct any deficiencies or permit violations identified by the evaluation. In addition, all evaluation reports shall include the global positioning system (GPS) coordinates of the treatment unit. Once an evaluation is requested, all results, whether complete or not, shall be submitted to the department.
  • Section 20.7.902 G NMAC – For permitted advanced treatment systems, in addition to the requirements of Subsection F of NMAC: (1) the system shall be sampled in accordance with permit conditions for compliance with NMAC if a regularly scheduled sampling event has not occurred within 180 days of the evaluation; the sampling results shall be included with the system report; if a regularly scheduled sampling event has occurred within 180 days of the evaluation, the results of the sampling shall be included in the evaluation report; and 20.7.3 NMAC 41 (2) an amendment of permit reflecting ownership change is required pursuant to Subsection E of20.7.3.403 NMAC.
  • Request for Extension of Property Transfer Evaluation Form: For use when an evaluation or inspection has been performed on a permitted liquid waste system within the last 180 days, and the system has not been in use since the inspection or evaluation and an extension of an additional 180 days is requested.

Permit Transfers into The New Owners Name

  • Advanced Treatment, Holding Tank and Alternative Disposal System Permits: Permits must be transferred into the new owners name. New owners must submit an operating permit renewal application. A new maintenance, service, and/or sampling contract, or pumping records must be submitted accordingly.
  • Conventional System Permits (except those with holding tanks): The owner is not required to submit any documentation.

Unpermitted Systems & Registrations Requirements

  • Section 20.7.401J NMAC – Unpermitted conventional systems installed or modified prior to February 1, 2002 may be issued a certificate of registration for continued operation if, after evaluation by the department or by an installer specialist:
    • (1) the treatment unit is pumped by a septage pumper hired by the system owner and the unit is determined to be watertight, is functioning properly and the tank has a liquid capacity within one tank size of the capacity required in Subsection Q of NMAC;
    • (2) the liquid waste system appears to meet setback and clearance requirements based on a non-intrusive evaluation;
    • (3) the disposal system appears to be functioning properly;
    • (4) meets the lot size requirements of the regulation in effect at the time of the initial installation;
    • (5) the system does not constitute a public health or safety hazard; and
    • (6) the appropriate permit fee is paid for the system installed. If any of the above conditions are not met, a certificate of registration cannot be issued and an application for modification pursuant to NMAC must be submitted.
  • Section 20.7.401K NMAC – Unpermitted conventional systems installed or modified on or after February 1, 2002 may be permitted if:
    • (1) the treatment unit and the disposal system are adequately exposed to allow full inspection by the department to determine all relevant aspects of construction and materials, including, but not limited to: soil type; pipe size, type and material; proper placement of aggregate and cover; and proper trench size, slope and spacing;
    • (2) the on-site liquid waste system is determined, upon inspection by the department, to meet all requirements of 20.7.3 NMAC; and
    • (3) the appropriate permit fee is paid; and
    • (4) at the discretion of the department, an administrative penalty is paid in accordance with Environmental Improvement Act, Chapter 74, Article 1 NMSA 1978.



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