Well Program Statute Changes

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Background

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is proposing to modify M.S. Chapter 103I, Wells and Borings, to clarify terms and requirements, eliminate obsolete language and passed deadlines.

M.S. Chapter 103I was created under the 1989 Groundwater Protection Act to strengthen requirements for wells and borings in Minnesota, and to reauthorize the MDH Well Program.

The MDH Well Program performs two essential functions the protection of the safety of drinking water from wells, used by 70 percent of Minnesotans, and the protection of our invaluable groundwater. The program protects drinking water by licensing well contractors, administering a comprehensive well construction code, and providing assistance to well owners. The program protects the groundwater by assuring proper well construction, and by finding and sealing abandoned wells, which can act as conduits for contamination to pollute our protected aquifers. This is especially important, because once an old well is buried and lost from memory, it remains a threat to groundwater forever.

Since 1989, the statute has worked well to advance the protection of both drinking water and groundwater, and major changes to the statute are not needed. However, our experience in working with the statute over the past 16 years has revealed some internal inconsistencies in terms and requirements, as well as some inaccuracies in terminology. Also with the passing of time, a number of references and deadlines have now become obsolete.

Why this is an issue

Specifically, this legislation will:

  • Clarify requirements for licensees, certified representatives, and regulated borings.
  • Clarify several terms and definitions, especially those pertaining to licenses and certifications.
  • Eliminate obsolete language and passed deadlines.

What are the concerns?

These proposals have been discussed with the Advisory Council on Wells and Borings, which includes contractor members, and the board of the Minnesota Water Well Association. We have received support for many of these proposed changes, and, to date, no opposition.

For more information

For more information, contact Daniel Wilson at 651-215-0812 or Daniel.Wilson@health.state.mn.us.

Updated Tuesday, 16-Nov-2010 12:27:55 CST