COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Private Ground Water Well Testing
Public Hearing on proposed ordinance to implement Private Water Well Testing
Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Graham, Swales, Green
LEGAL REVIEW: YES
May 4, 2005
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
It is generally accepted that nearly half of Albemarle County’s residents obtain their drinking water from domestic water wells. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality maintains a database of current, known toxic release sites in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The number of open cases in Albemarle County varies with time, but has been near fifty in 2005. Most of these toxic release sites are the result of either above ground or under ground petroleum storage tanks leaks.
The Board of Supervisors adopted an emergency ordinance on March 9, 2005 to address concerns with petroleum contamination of water wells. The emergency ordinance requires that each private groundwater well serving as the primary potable water supply for a structure within an active contamination area be tested for contaminants listed under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act prior to the issuance of a building permit for the structure. The emergency ordinance will expire on May 8, 2005 unless it is readopted after an advertised public hearing.
Goal 2.2 Protect and/or preserve the County’s natural resources.
The draft ordinance attached in Attachment A is identical to the emergency ordinance in all material respects. Like the emergency ordinance, the proposed ordinance will require that each private groundwater well serving as the primary potable water supply for a structure within an active contamination area identified by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality be tested as described above. The purpose for the ordinance is to assure that the water supply for a new residence within an active contamination area will satisfy federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards before a building permit is issued for residence. If the water from the tested well fails to satisfy those standards, the applicant will need to provide another approved alternative primary potable water supply.
Staff recommends adoption of the draft ordinance attached as Attachment A.
Attachment A: Proposed Private Ground Water Well Testing ordinance
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