Water Resources Professional Project Reports


Terry Nelson

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



In the geographic area of Bernalillo County, New Mexico there are over twenty known solid waste landfill (SWL) locations. Most were operated by the City of Albuquerque, but some were operated by Bernalillo County, Kirtland Air Force Base and some by private owners. There are three SWL's currently operating in Bernalillo County. They include Cerro Colorado operated by the City of Albuquerque, Southwest Landfill operated by private owners and one operated by and on Kirtland Air Force Base. The remaining SWL's have all been closed over the years. For many of these older sites there is no written record of the exact location, the time period of use, the amount of waste or the depth of the waste. There is potential for contamination of ground water and surface water from some of these SWL's. The purpose of this paper I project is to document the locations of all known SWL's in Bernalillo County by using a Global Positioning System (GPS) or by plotting from aerial photos. This information will be placed in the Albuquerque Geographic Information System (AGIS) and a map showing the SWL locations will be produced. SWL map locations in some cases will be a best guess scenario of the actual waste boundaries. The paper will also provide a regulatory summary as well as background histories, hydrogeology and ground water monitoring status (where available) of these SWL's. In discussions with Albuquerque Environmental Health Department (AEHD) and Bernalillo County Environmental Health Department (BCEHD) personnel, it was noted that a centralized landfill document and AGIS map like this would be very helpful in planning for future well locations (monitoring or drinking water) or for decisions on zoning and building development in Bernalillo County. The paper will also look at the location of landfill sites in respect to current Albuquerque ground water production wells and discuss the potential scenarios for contamination.

Language (ISO)



Sanitary landfills--New Mexico--Bernalillo County.


Water Resource Administration Professional Paper University of New Mexico School of Public Administration. June 25,1997.