Bernalillo County Natural Resource Services, tasked with permitting wastewater treatment systems in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County, desired an assessment tool for evaluating how property owners can best meet their needs for wastewater treatment systems given the Bernalillo County Code Wastewater Systems requirements.


These Sanitary Sewer Assessment Guidelines can help determine if unsewered, unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County are adequately served by traditional onsite treatment or if alternative means of treatment and disposal are necessary to satisfy regulations.

This Guidance Document is an assessment tool, developed using the Bernalillo County Code, Chapter 42, Article IV, Division 10. This document may become partially outdated when the code is modified. Because modifications to the code may replace earlier versions, the user is responsible for compliance with the most current version of the code.

This document is intended to assist policy makers, technical staff, planners, developers, and homeowners as they select appropriate wastewater treatment techniques.

For homeowners and policy makers, the guidelines present sections of the code in a simplified manner, touching on several key points that should be considered in selection of a wastewater treatment system for a particular site. Several treatment options are described for comparison and further understanding.

For technical staff, planners, and developers, the document relates technical insights for the selection of a treatment system or systems for a planned development. A cost matrix presented at the end of the document provides an estimated User’s share of the expense of the systems discussed. Comparison of treatment alternatives can be conducted for applicable treatment technologies by using the estimated life cycle costs of each treatment described.

Throughout the document, assumptions are identified and implications are explained. The document is not a substitute for site-specific design; instead, it provides an initial guide to the code and the wastewater treatment requirements that must be met. Treatment techniques and technology are not limited to those presented in this document.


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