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Private Wells and Cadmium

Cadmium can be naturally occurring in New Mexico geology and dissolve into groundwater. It may also get into the environment from industrial processes and consumer products (like batteries).

Food is the primary source of cadmium environmental exposure for the general population. Cadmium is found in foods such as: root vegetables, grains, legumes, shellfish (muscles, oysters, and scallops) and organ meat.

Long-term exposure (usually more than 2-5 years) to high cadmium in food or drinking water may be related to kidney problems and may decrease bone density. Children may be more sensitive to bone problems related to cadmium exposure.

Learn more about Cadmium and Health.
Levels of various naturally-occurring and man-made constituents in New Mexico groundwater including cadmium, might be elevated above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water standards. Ongoing drought conditions and aquifer mining have raised further concern that increases in constituents may occur in the absence of significant ground water recharge events. To assure that the water is safe for human consumption, well owners should periodically test their wells

The information available on this page, including the maps, demonstrates cadmium found in tested private wells in New Mexico based on the data available from various sources.

To know the cadmium concentration in your water from your own well, you need to test. It is important to know your water chemistry before choosing a treatment system.

Learn about testing.

Learn about treatment.

Wells Sampled 2004-2018

Cadmium levels in water samples from private wells vary between New Mexico counties and even within the same county. The groundwater system in New Mexico is very complex. This complexity can lead to cadmium concentration variability even amongst neighboring wells. Therefore, to know the cadmium concentration in your water from your own well, you need to test.

The safe drinking water concentration for cadmium, to prevent kidney damage, is 5 micrograms per liter (mcg/L). Based on available data, none of the water samples from wells in counties (with greater than 20 samples), appear to exceed this Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water standard.

Learn more about Cadmium and Health. Cadmium Distribution in NM private wells 2004-2018

Cadmium Distribution in New Mexico Private Wells (Wells Sampled Jan 2004 - Apr 2018
New Mexico Private Wells Inventory (Cadmium Test Results Summary Jan 2004 - Apr 2018
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Content updated: Thu, 4 Jun 2020 16:26:02 MDT