Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



This research paper culminates almost three years of employment and research activities concerned with the use of technology and public administration to substantially reduce suburban groundwater pollution problems and provide suburbanites with quality groundwater for domestic purposes. The employment and research were focused on the Valley suburbs near the central city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. A review of literature related to the suburban groundwater experience throughout the United States was also performed. The research included interviews and consultations with residents of the Valley, personnel employed by private companies that install individual water wells and sewerage systems in the Valley, and public administrators whose public employment is concerned with the groundwater problems of the Valley. Other research included the review of reports, related to the groundwater problems of the Valley, prepared by public administrators, private individuals, and private engineering firms. Also, local newspaper accounts and television interviews were reviewed.

In addition, the records of hundreds of water analyses, both chemical and bacteriological, performed on groundwater samples were reviewed. These samples were obtained by the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department from individual water wells located in the Valley. The water analyses were performed by the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department and the New Mexico Public Health Laboratory.

As a result of these activities, the groundwater problems of the Valley were identified and the primary causes of these problems were determined and evaluated. Both problems and causes are primarily related to the use of individual water wells and sewerage systems in high density areas of the Valley suburbs. The most effective and practical technological solution to the Valley groundwater problems is considered to be the connection of most Valley homes to public water and sewerage systems, preferably the City of Albuquerque water and sewerage systems. However, major economic, social and political constraints hinder the implementation of this solution.

Public administration, a means to formulate and implement public policy, appears to be necessary in reducing the extent of the major constraints. A case study, based on actual events, records and demonstrates the apparent success of public administration in such matters. In fact, due to public administration, it appears that most Valley homes will soon be connected to the City water and sewerage systems. This technological solution has effectively solved City of Albuquerque groundwater problems, and it should be effective in the Valley.

Throughout America, the suburban groundwater experiences appear to resemble the Albuquerque area experience. American suburbanites have frequently used individual water wells and sewerage systems in high density suburban areas. These improper land use practices have caused suburban groundwater problems, similar to the Valley suburbs, throughout America.

Since the Albuquerque area groundwater experience appears to closely resemble the groundwater experiences of other American urbanized areas, Albuquerque's solution and route to success can be applied elsewhere, and it has been. American public administrators should direct their efforts toward achieving the widespread implementation of public water and sewerage service in urbanized areas. Preferably, from an economical and public health standpoint, this service should consist of one public water system and one public sewerage system per urbanized area.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


First Committee Member (Chair)

John Mace Hunger

Second Committee Member

Nicholas L. Henry

Third Committee Member

Franile X. Steggert



Document Type