South Valley, NM

South Valley, NM

The City of South Valley is home to an estimated 41,391 residents, and it’s located in Bernalillo County, NM.

This report will help you become better acquainted with South Valley and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:

  • Are there any hazardous sites in Bernalillo County, NM?
  • How clean is the air in Bernalillo County, NM?
  • What’s the average radon level for homes in Bernalillo County, NM?
  • Is the water in Bernalillo County, NM safe to drink?

Hazardous Sites near South Valley, NM

There are three Superfund sites in Bernalillo County, NM. Superfund sites, like AT&SF (Albuquerque) in Albuquerque, NM, are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.

The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.

Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.

For more information about the Superfund sites located in the South Valley, NM area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:

Map Legend:


A. AT&SF (Albuquerque) (HRS Score: 50)

The AT&SF (Albuquerque) site, home to a wood treatment plant from 1908 to 1972, is located in Albuquerque, NM.

Contaminants found at the AT&SF (Albuquerque) site include:

  • Benzene
  • Benzo[a]pyrene
  • Dibenzofuran
  • Zinc
  • Naphthalene

B. Fruit Avenue Plume (HRS Score: 50)

The Fruit Avenue Plume site, where a zinc smelter operated from 1914 to 1925, is located in Albuquerque, NM.

Contaminants found at the Fruit Avenue Plume site include:

  • Trichloroethene
  • Tetrachloroethene
  • Chloroethene (Vinyl Chloride)
  • Trans-1,2-Dichloroethene
  • Cis-1,2-Dichloroethene

C. South Valley (HRS Score: No Data)

The South Valley site, used for chemical distribution and military activities, is located in Albuquerque, NM.

Contaminants found at the South Valley site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Chloroform
  • 1,1-Dichloroethene
  • Acetone

Air Quality in the South Valley, NM Area

The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.

Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:

  • Ozone
  • Short-term Particle Pollution
  • Year-round Particle Pollution

In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in Bernalillo County, NM as follows:

Ozone Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: Pass/Fail

Radon Levels in South Valley, NM Area

Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.

To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:

  • Zone 1 (higher radon levels)
  • Zone 2 (moderate levels)
  • Zone 3 (lower levels)

The average indoor radon reading in Bernalillo County, NM is predicted to be higher than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 1.

EPA Radon Zone

The EPA Recommends acting to reduce your home's radon level if it's measured at 4 pCi/L or greater. So, if you're thinking about purchasing a home in South Valley, NM, you should strongly consider having a radon test performed.

Water Quality in South Valley, NM Area

In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.

The following Bernalillo County, NM water provider(s) violated the maximum allowable level for one or more regulated contaminants:

Filter ValueWater SystemContaminantHealth Effects
35001Chilili Water Users AssnFluorideBone disease (pain and tenderness of the bones); children may get mottled teeth 
35001Green Ridge MDWCA, Inc.FluorideBone disease (pain and tenderness of the bones); children may get mottled teeth 
35001Leisure Mountain MHPCombined Radium (-226 and -228)Increased risk of cancer 
35001Leisure Mountain MHPCombined UraniumIncreased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity 
35001Leisure Mountain MHPGross Alpha, Excl. Radon and UIncreased risk of cancer
35001Leisure Mountain MHPSeleniumHair or fingernail loss; numbness in fingers or toes; circulatory problems 
35001Paakweree Village Water Co-Op Assoc, IncArsenicSkin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer
35001Sierra Vista South Water CoopDi(2-Ethylhexyl) PhthalateReproductive difficulties; liver problems; increased risk of cancer 
35001Tierra Monte Water Users AssociationCombined UraniumIncreased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity 
35001Tierra Monte Water Users AssociationGross Alpha, Excl. Radon and UIncreased risk of cancer
35001Tierra West Estates MHPArsenicSkin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer

In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.

To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.

Sources and Methods

Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019.  The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories.  All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.

Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.

Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).

Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA.  The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.


I’ve moved several times over the years, so I know just how stressful it can be to relocate. I want to help put your mind at ease. That’s why I research and write about all the things I think you should consider when moving to a new town.

Recent Content