City of Firebaugh, CA
Fresno County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. #295, S1; Ord. #90-1, S2; Ord. #93-1, S1; Ord. #93-3, S1; Ord. #00-10, S1]
No water wells of any type shall be drilled within the City of Firebaugh for domestic purposes or to produce water for human consumption, except by the City of Firebaugh. No new agricultural or irrigation wells of any type shall be drilled within the City of Firebaugh except in the "O" or "G" Zone Districts and only to replace an existing identical well which is concurrently abandoned. No water wells of any type shall be drilled within the City of Firebaugh for any other purpose unless a permit is obtained as provided hereinafter in this chapter.
[Ord. #295, S2; Ord. #90-1, S2]
Any private water well in use within the city shall be discontinued immediately, and the well shall be abandoned.
[Ord. #295, S3; Ord. #90-1, S2]
Every abandoned private water well within the city shall be capped or filled within 90 days at the expense of its owner, in the following manner: The owner shall present to the city engineer a plan for the filling or capping of the well which will protect the underground water supply beneath the city from intrusion of surface waters in such a manner as to contaminate presently existing levels of drinkable water, and to prevent the flow of brackish, saline or contaminated water from one level of ground water into a level in which the ground water is substantially uncontaminated, and not brackish or saline. If the city engineer certifies that the plan is workable and will meet these purposes, the well shall be filled and capped in accordance with the approved plan.
[Ord. #295, S4; Ord. #90-1, S2; Ord. #94-7, S1]
a. 
No well shall be drilled for the exploration or production of oil, gas or other hydrocarbons, except under the following circumstances: no well or excavation shall be made or drilled for the exploration or production of oil, gas or other hydrocarbons in any residential zone district. In nonresidential zone districts, and subject to any other process or requirements contained in the municipal code, the party proposing to drill shall submit to the city clerk a written plan for the drilling of the well, showing in detail the precautions which will be taken in order to insure that the integrity of the ground water supply is protected during the course of the drilling, while any oil, gas or other hydrocarbons are being produced, and in the event that the well becomes inoperative or is abandoned. With this application a fee of $100 shall be submitted to the city clerk. The application shall be referred to the city engineer, and no permit shall be issued by the city council for the drilling of the well unless the city engineer certifies that the plan, either as originally filed, or as revised by agreement between him and the driller, meets the objectives of protection of the ground water supply, set forth in the written plan. The city engineer shall recommend to the council the amount of the bond reasonably necessary to insure that the approved plan will be complied with during the original drilling, the production and in the event of any abandonment.
b. 
No permit shall be issued until the city council authorizes the issuance of a permit following a public hearing notice in the manner prescribed by subsection 25-4.2c3 of the Municipal Code. No such drilling shall be legal until the permit is issued. In the event of a dispute as to the reasonableness of the demands of the engineer or the city clerk, such dispute may be addressed to the city council and decided by them during the public hearing. At least 10 days' notice of any proposed hearing before the city council shall also be given to the city clerk, the city engineer, and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
It is the purpose of this section to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of the State of California by ensuring that the ground waters of this state will not be polluted or contaminated. To this end, minimum requirements are contained in this section for construction, reconstruction, repair, and destruction[1] of water wells, cathodic protection wells, and monitoring wells.
[1]
The California Water Code section 13801(b) refers to well construction, maintenance, and abandonment standards. Since the Department of Water Resources' "Water Well Standards" defines an abandoned well in terms of an undesirable condition, best remedied by destruction of the well, this usage is followed in this chapter.
[Ord. #90-1, S2; Ord. #93-1, S2]
a. 
As Defined in Other Documents. Except as otherwise required by the context of this section, the terms used in this section, shall have the same meaning as in Chapter 10 of Division 7 of the California Water Code and the Department of Water Resources Bulletin 74-81 and subsequent supplements or revisions.
b. 
BOARD - shall mean the Firebaugh City Council.
c. 
ENFORCEMENT AGENCY – shall mean that agency designated by the board to administer and enforce this section, or, absent a designation, the Firebaugh City Council.
d. 
PERSON – shall mean any person, association, partnership, firm, corporation or governmental agency, to the extent authorized by law.
e. 
WELL OR WATER WELL. The California Water Code, section 13710, defines well or water well to mean "... any artificial excavation constructed by any method for the purpose of extracting water from, or injecting water into, the underground." The State Water Resources Control Board does not intend that potholes, drainage trenches or canals, waste water ponds, or similar excavations be included within the definition of wells.
f. 
TENSE OR GENDER. Words used in the present tense include the future as well as the present. Words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter. The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.
g. 
SECTION HEADINGS, when contained in this section, – shall not be deemed to govern, limit, modify, or in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of any subsection.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
No person shall dig, bore, drill, deepen, modify, repair, or destroy a water well, cathodic protection well, observation well, monitoring well or any other excavation that may intersect ground water without first applying for and receiving a permit as provided in this section unless exempted by law.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Any person who shall commence any work for which a permit is required by this section without having obtained a permit shall be required, if subsequently granted a permit for this work, to pay double the standard permit fee.
[Ord. #90-1, S2; Ord. #93-1, S3; Ord. #93-3, S2]
The provisions of this section and chapter shall apply to emergency work required to maintain existing agricultural supply systems or to replace an existing agricultural or irrigation well which is concurrently abandoned. No emergency of any kind relating to existing agricultural supply systems shall relieve the applicant, property owner or well driller as the case may be, from fully complying with the requirements of this chapter and this section. In the event an application is received pursuant to section 21-2.2.4 which indicates a need for urgent or emergency processing, the city engineer shall analyze and process the application and present his recommendations and findings to the board within 10 days.
[Ord. #90-1, S2; Ord. #93-1, S4; Ord. #93-3, S3]
Applications for permits pursuant to this chapter and section shall be made to the enforcement agency on forms approved by the agency and shall contain all such information the enforcement agency requires to accomplish the purposes of this section and chapter, including, but not limited to: a verified statement of the property owner or applicant setting forth the location of the proposed well, the purpose for which the water from the proposed well will be used, a detailed sketch of the proposed installation, an indication of the proposed depth and diameter of the well, the identity of the proposed well driller and the sizing, make and model of the pumping equipment to be installed on the proposed well. The completed application shall be accompanied by a completed hydrology study, prepared by a recognized hydrologist approved by the city engineer. The study shall analyze the ground water geology and hydrology at the site of the proposed well and shall analyze the effect and impact, if any, of the proposed well on the nearest domestic water wells owned and operated by the City of Firebaugh. The completed application shall be accompanied by the required filing fee of $250 payable to the city clerk. If the enforcement agency finds the application contains all necessary information, it shall thereupon investigate the proposed drilling of said well to determine whether the proposed drilling of said well will pollute, affect or imperil the public water supply of the City of Firebaugh or of the State of California. If the enforcement agency finds that the drilling of said well, as proposed, would pollute, adversely affect or imperil the public water supply of the city or the State of California, it shall notify the city council of the city and, pursuant to the provisions of this section and this chapter, the city council shall deny the permit. Agricultural or irrigation well drilling permits shall only be approved if the proposed well site is located on property that is zoned in a manner which allows for agriculture or farming as a permitted use and under the circumstances described in section 21-1.1. In all other cases, following such investigation, the enforcement agency shall issue a permit with such conditions as are necessary to fulfill the purposes of this chapter and this section. Any permit issued and approved pursuant to this section shall be valid for a period of six months from the date of its issuance and, thereupon, shall expire and shall not be renewable.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Filing fees may be set by the board from time to time by ordinance.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
a. 
Limitations. When the enforcement agency issues a permit pursuant to this section, it may condition the permit in any manner necessary to carry out the purposes of this section. Conditions may include, but are not limited to such quantity and quality testing methods as the enforcement agency finds necessary.
b. 
Performance Bond. The enforcement agency may require a performance bond as a condition to the permit.
c. 
Persons Permitted to Work on Wells. All construction, reconstruction, or destruction work on wells shall be performed by a person who possesses an active C-57 contractor's license in accordance with the provisions of the California Business and Professions Code, Section 7000, et. seq. and Water Code Section 13750.5.
d. 
Proper Disposal of Drilling Fluids. The permit shall contain a clause requiring the safe and appropriate handling and disposal of drilling fluids and other drilling materials used in connections with the permitted work.
e. 
Abandoned Wells. As a condition of a construction or reconstruction permit, any abandoned wells on the property shall be destroyed in accordance with standards provided in this section.
f. 
Posting Permit. It shall be the responsibility of the permittee to maintain a copy of this permit on the drilling site during all stages of construction or destruction.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The enforcement agency shall deny an application for a permit if, in its judgment, issuance of a permit is not in the public interest.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The permittee shall complete the work authorized by the permit within the time and before the date set out in the permit. If there have been exceptional circumstances, the enforcement agency may grant the applicant an extension. Upon the expiration of the permit, no further work shall be done unless and until the applicant has received an extension or a new permit.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
a. 
Circumstances for Such Action. The enforcement agency may suspend or revoke any permit issued pursuant to this section, whenever it finds that the permittee has violated any of the provisions of this section, or has misrepresented any material fact in his application, or any supporting documents, for such a permit. Prior to ordering any such suspension or revocation, the enforcement agency shall give the permittee an opportunity for a hearing thereon, after reasonable notice. The hearing shall be before the enforcement agency head or his designated representative. An appeal may be made as set forth below.
b. 
Consequences. No person whose permit has been suspended or revoked shall continue to perform the work for which the permit was granted until, in the case of suspension, such permit has been reinstated by the enforcement agency.
c. 
Ordered Additional Work. Upon suspending or revoking any permit, the enforcement agency may order the permittee to perform any work reasonably necessary to protect the underground waters from pollution or contamination, if any work already done by the permittee has left a well in such condition as to constitute a hazard to the quality of the underground waters. No permittee or person who has held any permit issued pursuant to this section shall fail to comply with any such order.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Except as otherwise specified, the standards for the construction, repair, reconstruction, or destruction of wells shall be as set forth in the following subsections.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The California Department of Water Resources Bulletin 74-81 "Water Well Standards, State of California" except as modified by subsequent revisions.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
All subsequent Bulletin 74-81 supplements or revisions issued by the Department 74-81 supplements or revisions issued by the Department of Water Resources, once the revised standards have been reviewed at appropriate public hearing.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The enforcement agency shall have the power under the following specified conditions to grant a variance from any provision of the standards referenced above and to prescribe alternative requirements in their place.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
There must be, in a specific case, a special circumstance where practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship would result from the strict interpretation and enforcement of any standard.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The granting of such a variance is consistent with the purposes of this section.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The enforcement agency may designate areas where ground water quality problems are known to exist and where a well will penetrate more than one aquifer. The enforcement agency may require in these designated areas special well seal(s) to prevent mixing of water from several aquifers. Where an applicant proposes well construction, reconstruction, or destruction work in such an area, the enforcement agency may require the applicant to provide a report prepared by a registered geologist or registered civil engineer (California Business and Professions Code Sections 7850 and 6762 respectively) that identifies all strata containing poor quality water and recommends the location and specifications of the seal or seals needed to prevent the entrance of poor-quality water or its migration into other aquifers.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The enforcement agency shall make an inspection of the annular seal construction work. It may make an initial inspection of each proposed drilling site, an inspection at the completion of the work, and inspections at such other times as it deems appropriate.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Upon receipt of an application, the enforcement agency may make an inspection of the drilling site prior to the issuance of a well permit. The purpose of this inspection is to determine whether there are any site conditions such that the enforcement agency shall do the following:
a. 
Relocation of Drilling Site. Require relocation of the drilling site should be the location shown on the permit application be too close to potential sources of pollution.
b. 
Additional Conditions. Set additional conditions if needed to remedy any previously unknown ground water quality protection problems.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The enforcement agency shall inspect the annular space grout depth prior to the sealing.
a. 
Required Notice. The enforcement agency shall be notified by the well driller a minimum of 24 hours prior to sealing the annular space. Drillers who anticipate completing a well in less than one day shall notify the enforcement agency 24 hours prior to commencement of drilling and provide the anticipated time to commence the sealing of the annular space.
b. 
Should Enforcement Agency Fail to be Present. If the enforcement agency wishes to allow a seal to be tremied or placed without inspection, the driller shall seal the well in accordance with the standards of this section and any permit conditions. No seal shall be tremied or placed until permission to proceed is given.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
If requested by the enforcement agency, the driller shall notify the enforcement agency within seven days of the completion of their work at each drilling site. The enforcement agency may make a final inspection after completion of the work to determine whether the well was completed in accordance with this section.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The enforcement agency may waive inspections should any of the following conditions exist:
a. 
Well Inspected by Other Agencies. Inspections may be waived where the work will be inspected by the staff of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board or the California Department of Health Services if these designated agencies will inspect and report to the enforcement agency on all drilling features required by the Standards.
b. 
Monitoring Wells Under Specified Conditions. Inspections may be waived for monitoring wells that will penetrate only aquifers containing degraded waters or will penetrate only formations that normally contain no water.
c. 
Drilling Sites Known to Have No Threats to Ground Water Quality. Initial inspections may be waived when the drilling site is well known to the enforcement agency staff and it is known that no significant threats to ground water quality exist in the area.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The driller shall provide the enforcement agency a completion report within 30 days of the completion of any well construction, reconstruction, or destruction job.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
A copy of the "Report of Completion" (Water Well Driller's Report, Department of Water Resources Form 188) required by California Water Code Section 13751 shall be submitted by the permittee to the enforcement agency within 30 days of construction, alteration, or destruction of any well. This report shall document that the work was completed in accordance with the standards and all additional permit conditions. This subsection shall not be deemed to release any person from the requirement to file said report with the state Department of Water Resources.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
In accordance with California Water Code Section 13752, reports will not be available for inspection by the public but shall be made available for inspection by governmental agencies for use in making studies. Reports shall be made available to any person who obtains written authorization from the owner of the well.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Nothing in this section shall be deemed to excuse any person from compliance with the provisions of California Water Code Sections 13750 through 13755 relating to notices and reports of completion or any other federal, state, or local reporting regulations.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Any person whose application for a permit has been denied, or granted conditionally, or whose permit has been suspended or revoked, or whose variance request has been denied, may appeal to the Board, in writing, within 10 days after any such denial, conditional granting, suspension, or revocation. Such appeal shall specify the grounds upon which it is taken, and shall be accompanied by a filing fee as set forth herein. The clerk of the board shall set such appeal for hearing at the earliest practicable time, and shall notify the appellant and the enforcement agency, in writing, of the time so set at least five days prior to the hearing.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
After such hearing, the board may reverse, wholly or partly, or may modify the order or determination appealed from.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Representatives of the enforcement agency shall have the right to enter upon any premises at all reasonable times to make inspections and tests for the purpose of such enforcement and administration. If any such premises are occupied, he shall first present proper credentials and demand entry. If the same is unoccupied, he shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of same and demand entry. If such entry is refused, he shall have recourse to such remedies as are provided by law to secure entry.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
All persons owning an abandoned well as defined in the well standards shall destroy it before December 31, 1991 except those excluded by California Health and Safety Code Section 24440.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof is liable to the penalty established in Chapter 1, section 1-5.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
a. 
Notice of Violation Recordation. Whenever the enforcement agency determines that (1) a well has not been completed in accordance with a well permit or the plans and specification relating thereto, (2) has been constructed without the required permit, or (3) an abandoned well has not been destroyed in accordance with the standards, the enforcement agency may record a notice of violation with the office of the county recorder. The owner(s) of the property, as revealed by the assessment roll, on which the violation is situated and any other person responsible for the violation shall be notified of the recordation, if their address is available.
If the property owner(s) or authorized agent disagree with the determination, he may submit evidence to the enforcement agency indicating that there is no violation and then shall have a right to appeal an adverse decision of the enforcement agency to the board in accordance with the provisions of the following:
b. 
Appeal — Action by the Board.
1. 
Date of Hearing. Upon receipt of the notice of appeal, the board shall, within 15 days following the filing of the appeal, set a date for public hearing thereon.
2. 
Evidence. The evidence before the board shall consist of the records in the enforcement agency's files and any other relevant evidence which, in the judgment of the board, should be considered to effectuate and implement the policies of this section.
3. 
Decision by Board. The board may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or modify the decision or the notice of violation and may make such order as should be made. Such action shall be final.
c. 
Removal of Violation Notice. The enforcement agency shall submit a removal of notice of violation to the county recorder when (1) it is determined by the enforcement agency or the board, after review, that no violation of this section exists: or (2) all required and corrective work has been completed and approved by the enforcement agency.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Violations of this section may also be redressed in the manner hereinafter set forth by civil action. In addition to being subject to prosecution, any person who violates any of the provisions of this section may be made the subject of a civil motion. Appropriate civil action includes, but is not limited to, injunctive relief and cost recovery.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The remedies available to the Board to enforce this section are in addition to any other remedies available under ordinance or statute, and do not replace or supplant any other remedy but are cumulative thereto.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Pursuant to California Water Code Section 13225(c), the enforcement agency shall submit a report, not less than annually, to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board(s) having jurisdiction in their area. This report shall contain the following data, unless the Regional Board determines a lesser amount of information is necessary.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
The number of wells constructed or destroyed.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
Descriptions of all well destructions undertaken by the enforcement agency using its regulatory authority under nuisance abatement powers.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
A description of each specific case where variances were granted and the circumstances that made a variance necessary.
[Ord. #90-1, S2]
A description of each specific case where an inspection was waived and the circumstances that made the waiver necessary.
[Ord. #295, S1; Ord. #90-1, S2]
It is the purpose of this section to provide a just, equitable and practiced method, to be cumulative with and in addition to any other remedy under the ordinance of the city or otherwise available at law, whereby private irrigation and drainage canals may be required to be operated and maintained in a fashion to reduce the hazard to the life, limb, health, property, safety and general welfare of the people of this city which hazard exists by virtue of the proximity of said canals to developed and inhabited areas within the city.
[Ord. #295, S2; Ord. #90-1, S2]
As used in this section:
a. 
CANAL – shall mean an artificial ditch or trench in the earth for confining water to a defined channel, to be used for purposes of transportation. It includes the banks and the appurtenant facilities constituting the whole works and facilities for the transportation of the water.
b. 
PRIVATE - shall mean ownership, lease, sublease or use by any person, firm, or corporations, except the United States, the State of California, a political subdivision of the State, State Agency, County, city or special district formed pursuant to general law or special act for the local performance of governmental or proprietary functions within limited boundaries.
[Ord. #295, S3; Ord. #90-1, S2]
Every person, firm, or private corporation, whether as owner, lessee, sublessee, or water user, that shall construct, operate, maintain, use or take water from a private irrigation or drainage canal contrary to or in violation of the provisions of this section, and each day that the canal is operated, maintained, used, or water taken therefrom contrary to or in violation of this section shall be deemed a separate offense.
[Ord. #295, S4; Ord. #90-1, S2]
All private irrigation and drainage canals shall be constructed and maintained so that the water is not permitted to discharge, flow, or seep onto adjacent property. The banks of the canals shall be kept free of weeds and other growth and the canals free of debris and flotsam. All weirs and/or gates shall have locks in good order to prevent tampering.