System Information

Sandia Knolls

This system’s customers are served by the Rio Communities customer center.

Customer Center

401 Horner Street
Rio Communities, NM 87002

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(closed noon — 1 p.m.)


(505) 864-2218

General Manager

Cynthia Apodaca

Mailing Address

401 Horner Street
Rio Communities, NM 87002

After-Hours Phone

(505) 864-2218

For assistance with billing questions, starting or stopping service, scheduling a service appointment, or other customer service matters, please use the Contact Us form any time or call the Customer Service Center at (505) 864-2218 between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon or 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For after-hours water service emergencies, please call (505) 864-2218 and leave a message in our emergency voicemail box. An on-call operator will respond promptly to your message.

General Information

New Mexico Water purchased the Sandia Knolls water system in August 2006. Since then, we have been working diligently to improve the reliability and safety of your water system.

Our Sandia Knolls customers receive groundwater produced by two wells drilled into the Sandia Water Basin. The water pumped from the aquifer is disinfected and delivered through a distribution system that includes four steel storage tanks. New Mexico Water has made numerous and significant improvements to its Sandia Knolls water system since acquiring it in 2006, including:

  • Almost immediately, New Mexico Water installed an automated chlorination system to ensure water quality and safety for our customers. There was no such equipment providing for disinfection when we acquired the system.
  • Replaced and upgraded the electrical system at the well and mid-booster stations
  • Replaced both well pumps and motors
  • Installed a computerized monitoring and control system, known as SCADA. This gives us the ability to monitor and control tank levels, wells, booster pumps, pressure and electrical power outages. Prior to this improvement, the system had the equivalent of a sprinkler timer that was used to control the mid-booster station, which provides water to the distribution system and fills the Fox Hills tanks. Not only was this inefficient and unreliable, there were no controls to shut the booster pumps off based on the tanks being full. This resulted in a waste of water when the tanks would overflow. The installation of SCADA has resolved that problem and several others. It also enables us to continuously monitor the system remotely from our main office in Belen. The SCADA system is also integrated into our automated notification system which alerts our staff to any power outages, low/high tank levels, pumps failing to start, etc. The system, as we purchased it, had none of these capabilities and as a result it was not uncommon for customers to experience a loss or reduction of water pressure.
  • Installed surge and lightning protection devices at the well and all booster pumping stations and tanks.
  • Replaced or rebuilt all booster pumps
  • Replaced the single production meter at the well station and installed an additional one so that each well’s production could be recorded separately
  • Almost immediately located and repaired several distribution system leaks, some of which we were told had been leaking for years, but were not addressed by our predecessor
  • Insulated all meter boxes and lowered some sections of main and service lines to help prevent them from freezing
  • Replaced over 35 water meters and plan on replacing another 100 within the next 1-2 years. Almost all the meters we have not changed out are ones that were originally installed – many of which are decades old. New meters will ensure that accurate measurement of customer water usage is recorded. Our expectation is that this will result in the reduction of unaccounted for water losses, which are the difference between the amount of water pumped and the amount sold to customers. New Mexico Water was not happy with the unaccounted for water percentage having risen in 2008 and 2009. However, early indications are that our unaccounted for water losses have be drastically reduced subsequent to the SCADA system and controls having become operational and with the rehabilitation of the Skyview tank in 2010. The Skyview tank contributed to these losses, as there was a leak in the steel floor that could not be stopped until the tank could be drained and rehabilitated.
  • Improved the meter reading process by using handheld computers to record meter readings. This can also alert us to any problems there might be with a water meter or significant usage fluctuations.
  • New billing and customer information system, which provides customers with much more information, especially in regards to their own historical water usage, for up to 13 prior months
  • Installed a fire hydrant at our mid-booster station on the corner of Darby Drive and Pinon Heights Road. This is the first such hydrant to be installed in the system. Given that the distribution system is comprised largely of main lines that are only 2″ or smaller in diameter, there are not currently many locations where additional fire hydrants could be installed at this time, though we will be looking at this further.