At a Glance

An integrated water strategy enables a community in arid New Mexico to maximize use of its limited water supply.

Project Description

In creating Rancho de Bosque, a 23-lot community located southeast of Santa Fe, NM, developers wanted to ensure that every homeowner could have an attractive, native landscape despite the development’s very limited water supply. In addition to establishing covenants requiring the use of native plants and prohibiting hose bibs on house exteriors, the developer also sought a sustainable way to treat and reuse the community’s wastewater.

To help achieve this goal, Biohabitats designed an on-site wastewater treatment and reuse system that supplies treated effluent for use as irrigation water. A small diameter collection system conveys wastewater from each home in the community to a treatment system consisting of three cells of constructed wetlands, an intermittent sand filter, and a covered storage pond.

During the irrigation season, treated effluent is pumped back to each home’s irrigation system through a distribution system that employs the same trench as the collection system. Each home is supplied enough water to irrigate approximately 4,000 square-feet of native landscape.

Rancho de Bosque was the first subdivision in New Mexico permitted for reuse of treated effluent.



Southwest Basin & Range

Physiographic Province

Basin & Range


Galisteo Creek

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Water


Rancho de Bosque Homeowners Association


Lamy, New Mexico, United States