At Tuesday night’s county council meeting water was once again a big discussion. Bart Smith spoke to the county council to propose a new Drinking Water Source Protection Ordinance to help protect citizens from water shortages the county has experienced this last summer. Smith would like to have the ordinance coincide with the Weber Morgan Health Department because the department is a key overseer in the health of the community. An ordinance like this would mean a change to the land use management code.
Smith said, “There is a need for a source protection ordinance to protect our county’s water source.”
One of the conditions in the Weber County Source Protection is the ordinance begins from the day it is adopted. It does not go back and force change on previous well or water systems for land owners. Smith continued saying. “We don’t want to bring hardship to anyone. We just want the ordinance discussion for protection. We ask to make a motion, directing [county] staff to have a work session, and invite all related parties, like planning department, engineers, the State and give invitations to the water systems that it would affect.”
The source protection was brought before the council as a resolution to ease concerns about water, especially in Mountain Green. Weber County is a good model to follow because of the established system but Morgan can adopt, and individualize for the needs of Morgan County.
Council Chair, Ned Mecham said, “It’s needed. Weber county has a lot of good ideas in their ordinance. Morgan county definitely needs the source protection ordinance.”
Smith explained one of the biggest concerns for engineering and the development of the ordinance could be septic tanks. A key development needs to ensure there aren’t any septic tanks. In the Mountain Green System all the water systems in are all within the required distance from the sewer. The proposed work session would take all the water systems in the county drafts to the table. Council Member, Austin Turner said, “We need to make sure everyone is included. Porterville, everyone so we have it all in one place.”
If the ordinance comes in place some of the concerns are the property owner would no longer have the right to negotiate regarding wells.
Smith said “They have the different zones. For example in zone 1 you have 100 foot radius so if a property owner is going allow someone to put a well on their property they would recognize there would be a source protection code in the 100 foot radius. So it doesn’t condemn any land really. There would probably be a short list of things you can’t do around that radius. When you get out into other zones you might get into owners who might not know this.”
The motion for county staff to hold a work session to address adopting the source protection ordinance code be adopted and the change in land use code be altered was passed and will be discussed to prevent further shortages in the future.