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Noise

Noise control ordinance in the City of Albuquerque.

What is the City doing about noise?

The Environmental Health Department enforces the noise control ordinance in the City of Albuquerque. View the Noise Control Ordinance.

Sound level limits in the City of Albuquerque are set by the overall Zoning and not the actual use of the location. For example, a home built in a commercial-zoned area would be held to commercial sound limits. The Environmental Health Department works with other City agencies to ensure consistent enforcement of the noise ordinance. Repeat offenders of the noise ordinance may receive fines.

In the City of Albuquerque, many noises and sounds are not covered by the Noise Control Ordinance. These include:

  • aircraft and airports;
  • earthshaking vibrations;
  • emergency or civic construction, demolition, or repair work;
  • entertainment events, such as school bands, school athletic, and school entertainment events, occasional outdoor or indoor gatherings, public dances, shows, and band performances occurring during daytime hours;
  • human voices;
  • fireworks displays;
  • mass transit;
  • parades and protests;
  • mosquito control activities;
  • preexisting mechanical equipment;
  • refuse collection between the hours of 7 a.m.-10 p.m.;
  • stadiums; or
  • zoos and animal shelters.

How loud is too loud?

For residential areas, the daytime noise limits are roughly as loud as a normal conversation (55dB). After 10 p.m., these levels drop to around a whisper level conversation at night (50dB). If your music can be heard on your neighbor’s property any louder than a normal conversation, then it is likely too loud.

The following picture shows the decibel levels of common noise sources.

Noise levels above 140dBA can cause damage to hearing after just one exposure.

A chart describing different decibel levels of common noises.

How to File a Complaint

To report a noise complaint during business hours, please call 311.

For after-hours complaints (after 5 p.m. on weekdays, during weekends, and holidays) or complaints requiring immediate assistance, please call the Albuquerque Police Department non-emergency phone number, (505) 242-COPS (2677).

When filing a complaint, please include:

  1. description of the noise;
  2. your contact information;
  3. the location of the source of your complaint;
  4. time, date, and duration of the complaint; and
  5. any additional information that will assist the Environmental Health Department or the Albuquerque Police Department in addressing the issue.

It is not required that noise investigations and sound measurements be taken at the exact time of a noise complaint. In most cases, the Environmental Health Department can evaluate the noise complaint during regular business hours.