Carlsbad debating whether or not to charge commercial dumpers

Created: 05/13/2014 8:13 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The boom in the oil and gas business is bringing a stinky problem to southeastern New Mexico.

A sewage boom.

20 years ago, the Carlsbad Waste Water Treatment Plant was taking in 6,000 gallons of sewage a day.

But today, it’s taking in 50,000 gallons.

That’s nearly 10 times more.

“Obviously it's gotten just a little bit out of control," said City Administrator Steve McCutcheon.

McCutcheon says all that sewage is coming from oil and gas sites, RV parks, temporary housing, you name it.

And commercial vendors are taking waste from Eddy county, Lea county, even Texas and dumping it in Carlsbad.

Because as it stands right now anyone from anywhere can dump sewage in Carlsbad for free.

“We do track where the trucks come from. And we've been noting as we tracked those, that they're coming from farther and farther away," said McCutcheon.

The problem is, the city of Carlsbad doesn't charge a dumping fee.

Something city council is hoping to change.

At Tuesday’s meeting, city councilors will vote on whether to charge commercial dumpers $80 for every 1,000 gallons of sewage.

“Growth is not without some pain, some growing pains and some challenges that we face,” said McCutcheon. “But by and large we're very happy with what's going on in Carlsbad."

City councilors will also vote Tuesday to require commercial dumpers to have a permit and keep a record of their waste, something they haven’t had to do in the past.

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