State Water Engineer Hugh Ricci has approved a domestic well credit program for the Dayton-Mound House area.
Lyon County Utility Manager Mike Workman proposed the credit program, saying it will give area residents who do not want their own well or are having trouble with their wells a new alternative. They'll be able to trade their domestic well for a hookup to the county water system.
Ricci said the program allows people with domestic wells to hook up to the municipal water system if they agree to shut down and plug their well. In return, the state allows the water utility to increase the amount of water it pumps by the amount that home uses up to a maximum of 1,800 gallons a day.
Ricci's order makes it clear that conversion of a well to municipal service is completely up to the homeowner. They can't be forced into switching.
"This was really spawned by a customer who came in and had a unique situation where he had water service right outside the door and they were on a domestic well that had gone bad," Workman said in an interview after he applied for the credit program.
He said it's a good option for someone in that situation.
"I don't expect a tremendous number of requests, but it will be a good thing for those people who need it," he said.
Ricci's order says the well credit program is available to all well owners whose parcels were created before July 1, 1993, as well as those who could drill a well if they choose to.
One of the reasons for the program is that Ricci has served notice his office won't issue permits for the utility to increase pumping in the Dayton area. He said there are already permits authorizing more than 24,000 acre-feet of pumping a year - double the amount of water available in the valley. And the Dayton area is one of western Nevada's fastest growing areas.
"If they're going to have further development, it's going to have to be off of existing rights," he said.
n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.