[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Papillion 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 1684. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 198, Water Wells and Wellhead Protection, adopted 8-6-1996 by Ord. No. 1225 (Ch. 3, Art. 4, § 3-426, of the 1990 Code), as amended.
The intent of this chapter is to establish control by the City of Papillion over the location of future potential sources of contamination within the City's zoning jurisdiction, so as to prevent or minimize any hazard to the safety of the City's drinking water. It will also allow for a commitment to prudent City-wide use of water and water conservation and help the City of Papillion prevent wells from becoming a nuisance. The City recognizes and declares that groundwater conservation and information as to the use of wells and groundwater within the City's zoning jurisdiction are essential to the well-being of the public.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- BUILDING DEPARTMENT
- The Chief Building Official and agents or assistants.
- A. A public well system that:
- (1) Provides potable water to at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents of the area served by the system or regularly provides potable water to at least 25 year-round residents.
- (2) Has an approved permitted public water system number by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services; and
- B. The public water system number must have an active status and be in good standing with the State of Nebraska and any other local, state, or federal agencies which may have jurisdiction over the system or the water being delivered by the system.
- The act of filling, sealing, and plugging a water well in accordance with Title 178 NAC 12.
- Water at or below the water table.
- ILLEGAL WATER WELL
- Any water well which has not been properly decommissioned and which meets any of the following conditions:
- A. The water well is in such a condition that it cannot be placed in active or inactive status;
- B. Any necessary operating equipment has been removed and the water well has not been placed in inactive status;
- C. The water well is in such a state of disrepair that continued use for the purpose for which it was constructed is impractical;
- D. The water well was constructed after October 1, 1986, but not constructed by a licensed water well contractor or by an individual on land owned by him/her and used by him/her for farming, ranching, or agriculture purposes or at his/her place of abode;
- E. The water well poses a health or safety hazard;
- F. The water well is an illegal well in accordance with Neb. R.R.S. § 46-706;
- G. The water well was constructed after October 1, 1986, and such well is not in compliance with the standards developed under the Water Well Standards and Contractors' Licensing Act; or
- H. The water well was not permitted or previously approved by the Papillion City Council prior to its construction, unless drilled prior to the adoption of this chapter.
- NONPOTABLE USE
- Water that is not intended for human consumption.
- The person vested with the ownership, dominion, equitable or legal title to property, or a trustee under a deed of trust or similar instrument. It shall also include those persons who have a right to enjoy and use the property, as far as the law permits, unless prevented by agreement or covenant which restrains such right.
- Any individual; partnership; limited-liability company; association, public or private corporation; trustee; receiver; assignee; agent; municipality or other governmental subdivision; public agency; other legal entity; or any officer or governing or managing body of any public or private corporation, municipality, governmental subdivision, public agency, or other legal entity.
- POTABLE USE
- Water that is suitable for human consumption.
- An occupied or unoccupied residence or any building which requires a potable water supply.
- Any change, replacement or other alteration of any water well, pump, or pumping equipment or any other activity which requires a breaking or opening of the well seal or piping, except for purposes of disinfection or for replacing the seal or for replacing external electrical conduit by a licensed water well contractor or licensed pump installation contractor as defined in Title 178 NAC 10, or for other purposes by a state electrical inspector as defined in Neb. R.R.S. § 46-1233 in the course of his employment.
- TITLE 178 NAC 10
- The Nebraska Administrative Code Title 178 Chapter 10 Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Title 178 Environmental Health Chapter 10 - Licensure Under the Water Well Standards and Contractors' Practice Act).
- TITLE 178 NAC 12
- The Nebraska Administrative Code Title 178 Chapter 12 Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Title 178 Environmental Health Chapter 12 - Water Well Construction, Pump Installation and Water Well Decommissioning Standards).
- TITLE 179 NAC 3
- The Nebraska Administrative Code Title 179 Chapter 3 Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Title 179 Public Water Systems Chapter 3 - Monitoring and Analytical Requirements).
- UNSAFE WATER SAMPLE
- A water sample which tests positive for coliform or Escherchia coli (E. coli) bacteria, or exceeds 10 mg/l nitrate-nitrogen, or which exceeds the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for any other contaminant as established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for a public water supply in Title 179 NAC 3.
- WATER WELL
- Any excavation that is drilled, cored, bored, washed, driven, dug, jetted, or otherwise constructed, and its pumps and pumping equipment, for the purpose of exploring for groundwater, monitoring groundwater, utilizing the geothermal properties of the ground, obtaining hydrogeologic information, or extracting water from or injecting fluid as defined in Neb. R.R.S. § 81-1502 into the undergroundwater reservoir. "Water well" does not include any excavation made for obtaining or prospecting for oil or natural gas, or for inserting media to repressure oil or natural gas bearing formations regulated by the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, dewatering wells, monitoring wells, closed loop groundwater heat pump, or sump pumps within permanent structures.
- WATER WELL PERMIT
- A written permit issued by the City Council of the City of Papillion or its designee, as provided herein, permitting the construction, repair, or maintenance of a water well or an on-site water supply system.
Editor's Note: See Neb. R.R.S. § 46-1201 et seq.
It shall be unlawful to construct, repair, operate, or use within the zoning jurisdiction of the City a water well without obtaining a water well permit. It shall be unlawful to construct or use a water well for potable and/or nonpotable uses within the zoning jurisdiction of the City if a municipal water supply system is located within 1, 000 feet of any part of said premises on which water is required; provided, however, that construction, repair, operation or use of a water well for make-up recovery of an aesthetic water feature or a replacement well for an existing community well system, which was permitted by the City and registered with the State of Nebraska prior to January 16, 2013, or drilled prior to the adoption of this chapter, may be allowed by obtaining a water well permit from the City. Such water well shall comply with the other provisions of this chapter and with Title 178 NAC 12. A water well existing and permitted by the City and registered with the State of Nebraska prior to January 16, 2013, or drilled prior to the adoption of this chapter may remain in use, although such use does not conform to this section, as long as it does not pose a health or safety hazard.
Whenever the use of a water well becomes a nonconforming use through a change in the corporate limits of the City, such use may be continued if such water well is in substantial conformance with Title 178 NAC 12 and poses a minimal likelihood of degradation of groundwater or risk to public health and a permit is obtained from the City Council.
Discharge, recharge, or reinjection wells are prohibited except for the disposal of water where only the temperature of the water has been altered, provided that the maximum water temperature shall not exceed 90º F. It shall be deemed a violation of this chapter for any person to reinject or inject any chemically altered water or hazardous substance of any kind into a water well or into or above the groundwater aquifer, except for purposes of disinfection by a licensed water well contractor or pump installation contractor as defined in Title 178 NAC 10.
No person except a licensed contractor or supervisor or a person working directly under the supervision of a licensed contractor or supervisor per Title 178 NAC 10 shall construct, repair, replace, or decommission a water well, except that a state electrical inspector may open a well seal in the course of his or her employment. All water wells shall be constructed, repaired, replaced or commissioned in accordance with Title 178 NAC 12. No person shall construct or replace a water well within the City's zoning jurisdiction without obtaining a water well permit. No person shall repair or decommission a water well within the City's zoning jurisdiction without obtaining a water well repair permit from the Building Department.
Within 60 days following the construction of the water well, the owner shall be required to have the water well inspected by the Building Department. In the event the water well is not in substantial conformance with Title 178 NAC 12, the water well shall be repaired within 30 days or the use of the water well shall be immediately discontinued until the same is brought into compliance.
Within 60 days following the repair of the water well, the owner shall be required to have the water well inspected by the Building Department. If the repaired water well is not in substantial conformance with Title 178 NAC 12, the water well shall be brought into conformance within 10 days or the use of the water well shall be immediately discontinued until the same is brought into compliance. In the case of emergency repairs, such repairs may be made without first obtaining the repair permit; provided, however, that said permit shall be obtained within 10 days subsequent to such emergency repair.
When a community well system replacement well or a makeup recovery well is being constructed, the owner shall be required to install and use a water usage metering system. The owner or a designated agent of the community well system shall provide water usage meter logs for the replacement well to the City on an annual basis to allow the City to monitor groundwater usage and water conservation.
Any person applying for a water well permit shall obtain forms from the Building Department, which completed forms, together with the permit fee, shall be filed with the Building Department. All water wells that have not been previously permitted under this chapter must be inspected before a water well permit will be issued. In the event that such applicant's water well is not in substantial conformance with Title 178 NAC 12 or with Title 179 NAC 3, such applicant shall obtain a water well repair permit, if necessary, and cause such well to be brought into compliance before use. Use of the water well, if any, shall be immediately discontinued until the water well is brought into compliance.
All fees shall be credited to the Water Fund. No fees or portion of fees shall be refunded, except for a refund approved by a majority of City Council.
It shall be unlawful to construct, repair, operate, or use any of the following structures or conduct any of the following activities within the distance specified below from an existing municipal water well:
The City Council may consider allowing placement of water wells, as defined by Nebraska Regulations governing public water supply systems (Title 179, NAC2) and Nebraska Regulations governing water well construction, pump installation and water well abandonment standards (Title 178, NAC12), as amended from time to time, closer to a municipal water well than the limitations set forth in § 198-6 hereof. Closer placement shall be allowed only under the following conditions:
A variance application must first be filed with the City showing the type of water well to be installed, the materials used, the operation of the proposed unit, and the person responsible for the actual installation of the water well. Preference for approval will be given to installations that do not disturb any water-bearing strata.
The City shall refer the application to the City Engineer or designee for evaluation and report. The estimated cost of the City Engineer's or the designee's fees must be paid at the time of filing the application. Any additional costs which are reasonably incurred by the City Engineer or the designee in asking his or her examination and report shall be paid by the applicant in addition to any previously paid estimated costs.
The City Council shall consider the City Engineer's report and any additional information submitted by the applicant. In reaching its decision on whether to allow the placement of a water well as above defined, the City Council must act to conserve groundwater and to prevent all sources of possible or likely water contamination.
If the City Council approves the installation, it shall submit the application, together with the City Engineer's report, to the Department of Health of the State of Nebraska for a final approval or denial.
No installation shall be made without the approval of both the City Council and the Department of Health of the State of Nebraska.
Water wells in existence and in use as of January 16, 2013, shall be allowed to continue in use and in existence if it was previously permitted by the City and registered with the State of Nebraska, or such well was drilled prior to the adoption of this chapter, unless such continued existence or use presents a hazard to the quality and quantity of the drinking water available for public use. The owner of any water well shall have the burden of establishing the prior existence and use of such well.
Any person aggrieved by any final decision of the City or its agents in the administration and enforcement of this chapter may appeal such decision to the District Court as provided by state law.
Any person decommissioning a well shall obtain a decommissioning permit from the Building Department. The City Engineer shall be notified prior to the decommissioning of any water well. All unused or illegal water wells shall be properly decommissioned in accordance with Title 178 NAC 12.
Whenever a water well has been determined by the City to be an illegal well, improperly decommissioned, or discontinued for use and does not have formal inactive status, the owner of such property upon which such water well is located shall be notified by the City Engineer to decommission such water well within 90 days. Upon failure of the owner of the property upon which said water well is located to comply within 90 days of such notice to decommission, the City Engineer or its designee shall decommission such well, and the cost thereof shall be assessed against the real estate. If the owner fails to reimburse the City after being properly billed, the City Council shall have the assessment certified to the County Treasurer and the same shall be collected in the manner provided by law. In the event that the property owner is a nonresident of the county in which the property lies, the City shall, before levying any special assessment against that property, send a copy of any notice required by law to be published by means of certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the nonresident owner. The last known address shall be that address listed on the current tax rolls at the time such required notice was first published.
Whenever a water well is determined by the City Engineer or its designee to have an unsafe water sample, pose a significant health or safety hazard, pose a risk of groundwater contamination, or pose a risk of significantly depleting groundwater supplies, the City Engineer or its designee may issue a stop-use order, order the water well repaired, require the water to be treated to reduce health or safety risks, or order the water well to be decommissioned. Such notice shall be served by certified or registered mail, or in person, to the last known owner of the property. If the City Engineer orders the water well to be decommissioned, such decommissioning must be completed within 90 days.
Upon failure of the owner to comply with such order, the City Engineer may cause such water well to be repaired, treated, or decommissioned, and the cost thereof shall be assessed against the real estate. If the owner fails to reimburse the City after being properly billed, the City Council shall have the assessment certified to the County Treasurer and the same shall be collected in the manner provided by law. In the event that the property owner is a nonresident of the county in which the property lies, the City shall, before levying any special assessment against that property, send a copy of any notice required by law to be published by means of certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the nonresident owner. The last known address shall be that address listed on the current tax rolls at the time such required notice was first published.
The City or its designee shall investigate suspected violations of this chapter. Whenever the City or its designee finds violations of this chapter, the City or its designee may issue a notice of violation specifying the corrective action to be taken and the time period within which such action must be completed.
Failure to correct the violations within the time period specified shall be cause for an enforcement action by the City.
Any person found violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $ 500. The continuation of a violation of this chapter shall be deemed an additional violation for every 24 hours of such continued violation. In addition, the City may obtain injunctive relief and sue for damages and remediation and pursue any other remedy available to it under the laws of the State of Nebraska or other authority having jurisdiction over such matters.
Any person who engages in or any person who employs or uses a person who engages in the construction of water wells, the installation of pumps and pumping equipment, or the decommissioning of water wells without complying with the standards adopted by the City of Papillion shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine not to exceed $500 for each day a violation occurs and may be enjoined from continuing such activity. Each day, or part thereof, on which a violation under this chapter continues shall be a separate offense.