Liquid Waste Regulations and Septic System Inspections

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There are several things that need to be accomplished in the event you are selling your home.  In Santa Fe, and other surrounding cities in New Mexico, prior to the transfer of a property which has an existing on-site liquid waste system the current system owner must have the system inspected and evaluated by a third-party inspector.  You will need to hire a contractor or inspector who is one of the following: a Liquid Waste Contractor (who holds an appropriate license by the Constructions Industries Division (CID), a Professional Engineer, or a Certified Wastewater Inspector. It is important that you or the contractor/inspector have detailed information including all names of original owners, previous owners, current owner and builders. Precise system address and locations and all previous addresses are also needed.

If a permit is available, the inspector will need to inspect and evaluate your existing septic system to determine whether it is functioning properly, whether it is properly sized for your existing residence and whether it meets all requirements of the Liquid Waste Regulations. If a permit is not available, prior to the scheduled inspection, homeowner is responsible to have the entire top of the septic tank uncovered along with 2 feet exposing both the inlet and outlet pipes to the tank. The homeowner is also responsible for having the tank pumped by a septage pumper while the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Environmentalist is present. This includes removing septic tank lids, providing a hose and water for a water acceptance test for the disposal field, and exposing portions of the field to verify its materials and construction.  These activities must be performed by a properly licensed contractor.

Fun Fact:  New Mexico has two designated State vegetables – Chile and frijoles. New Mexico also has an officially designated State Question — “Red or green?” (referring to chile preference).

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