I read your article regarding the objections Aztec area residents have over the lagoon Tom Payne wants to build. I own the KOA Campground near Santa Fe. I have one of these lagoons. Our lagoon is about 1/2 acre and about 3 feet deep. Our RV park is about the same size as what Mr. Payne is proposing.
Our lagoon has NO ODOR! We care for it very carefully and take great pains to ensure there is no odor. Aeration of the Lagoon is imperative and contrary to Mr. Norvelle's comments our lagoon is Aerobic all the way to the bottom.
I also understand concerns over spillage/leakage into the public water supply. If properly sized these lagoons hold many times the expected daily influent. For example, our lagoon was sized for 6200 gallons per day of influent based on weather conditions in our area. We have never exceeded 1/3 of the sizing. We are also required to maintain a two feet freeboard (distance between the top of the water level and the top of the lagoon) for which we have alarms. Given our dry climate the evaporation rate keeps this in check.
While I understand the residents concerns about a system such as this their concerns are based mostly on ignorance. These systems are very effective and, if properly cared for, safe and odor free. I work very carefully with NMED to ensure my lagoon and full septic system are in full compliance with the State's guidelines for preventing groundwater pollution.
Don't get me wrong. These systems take a lot of TLC to ensure proper operation. But they can be better for the environment and should be no concern for local residents.