At their meeting on June 28, the County Commission supported a new program that will provide public funding for private property owners whose wells have been adversely affected by municipal pumping. The recommended program, specific to the Mt. Rose-Galena Fan area in southwest Truckee Meadows, includes providing for deepening of private wells for properties that cannot be served by the community water system, or covering the Department’s hook up charges for properties that will need to connect to the community water system. Some domestic wells in the fan area have failed over the last ten years, and it was determined that municipal water wells in the same area have, along with other factors, contributed to these failures. Residents whose wells have been affected by the municipal pumping have participated in several workshops to develop the new program, and many were in attendance at the Commission meeting to speak in support of the effort.
Washoe County’s Water Resources Department provides drinking water to residents generally living in the unincorporated areas of the South Truckee Meadows, North Valleys, and Spanish Springs. Drinking water for public use is provided by municipal groundwater wells and surface water supplies. In addition to the Mt. Rose-Galena Fan area well mitigation program, the board reviewed a new policy that offers staff guidance on mitigating impacts of municipal wells on private property wells throughout the County.
The Board supported the Department’s recommendations and directed staff to bring the policy, along with the recommend ordinance changes associated with the new Mt. Rose-Galena Fan well mitigation program, back to the County Commission. The updated ordinance must come before the Commission at two separate meetings. Staff is tentatively scheduled to bring the ordinance back to the commission for an introduction and first reading on August 9, 2011. The required second reading and public hearing is scheduled for August 23, 2011. For more information on the program, please visit http://www.washoecounty.us/water/swtmgroundwater.