Aug 21, 2018

Santa Monica, Calif., Limits Construction of New Private Wells

The well construction ban will remain in effect until the city develops a new Groundwater Sustainability Plan

Santa Monica temporarily bans construction of new wells to protect groundwater
Santa Monica temporarily bans construction of new wells to protect groundwater

The city of Santa Monica, Calif., temporarily has banned the construction of new private wells while the city works towards drafting the rules to a new Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). Developing a GSP is required by California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and the city currently is drafting the rules in partnership with Culver City, Beverly HIlls and Los Angeles. While the private well ban currently is set until the city adopts a comprehensive groundwater management plan that address construction laws, some members of the city staff are open to the possibility of continuing the ban, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.

“In order to protect the city’s main water supply from overdraft, pollution and contamination, the proposed ordinance would prohibit the installation of new private wells or the expansion of existing wells until two criteria are met,” said Sustainability Administrator Shannon Parry. “The first is a groundwater sustainability plan as adopted, and the second is the the construction of new wells, or the expansion of existing wells is expressly authorized in the groundwater sustainability plan.”

Prior to the ban, well construction was managed by the county of Los Angeles Department of Public Health’s Environmental Health Division and there were no limits on the amount of water a commercial or private well could use. Moving forward, as the city council collaborates  to draft a GSP, previously unregulated commercial and residential private well construction will be considered.

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