South Central, New Mexico, USA

Construction of the Wastewater Collection and Treatment System for Vado,Del Cerro,San Miguel,La Mesa,Berino and Chamberino Communities in Doña Ana County, New Mexico

Status: Completed construction


Approximately 90 percent of the population in the south central area is connected to one of the several community water systems, known as Mutual Domestic Water Consumer Associations. The rest of the community obtains drinking water from privately-owned wells. There are, however, no community wastewater systems. Residents and businesses use on-site systems such as septic tanks or cesspools for wastewater treatment.

It is suspected that because of the shallow groundwater table, a large source of groundwater contamination results from agricultural and onsite liquid waste disposal systems. Furthermore, the high density of homes combined with a prominent layer of poorly draining soil causes frequent surfacing of contaminated water and is an immediate threat to public health.


This regional project consists of two phases: 1) construction of individual sewer systems and residential hook-ups for the six Doña Ana County communities listed above, as well as construction of a wastewater treatment plant to serve all six communities; and 2)expansion of the treatment plant in 2010.

Phase I (2002-2003):

  • Construction of approximately 379,100 linear feet of gravity sewers and 78,100 linear feet of force main.
  • Installation of an estimated 2,200 residential hookups and decommissioning of on-site disposal systems.
  • Construction of a sequencing batch reactor type treatment facility using ultraviolet disinfection to treat up to 1.05 million gallons of wastewater per day (mgd). Plant effluent will be discharged into the Rio Grande, and sludge will be dewatered by mechanical equipment and disposed of in a landfill.

Phase II project (2010):
It is anticipated that plant capacity will need to be increased to treat an average flow of 2.1 mgd. within the next five to seven years.


This regional project addresses the existing threat to public health by eliminating the use of on-site septic tanks and cesspools and constructing the necessary infrastructure to provide first-time wastewater collection and treatment services to the residents in the above mentioned communities in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost US 29.8M
NADB Funding US 13.09M - NADB Grant: BEIF
Other Funding Partners Border Environment Infrastructure Fund ( BEIF)
New Mexico Environment Department (NMED)
EPA Colonias Fund Program
NMED - State Revolving Fund (SRF)
Border Environment Cooperation Commission ( BECC)