The Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District is finalizing permanent rules for water wells that will determine future district decisions and operations in Ellis County.

Among the new rules are regulations setting spacing requirements for new water well installations. Well spacing rules attempt to limit a pumping well’s impact on other wells but are generally not intended to regulate the total amount of pumping from a well or manage the entire aquifer.

Existing wells are grandfathered from these rules.

New exempt wells, those that produce less than 17.36 gallons per minute, must be located at least 50 feet from any property line. Wells that generate more than that amount will be vetted by the district using existent groundwater data previously collected from the location of the proposed well and the aquifer in which it will be drilled.

These new rules and others will be discussed at the upcoming monthly board meeting and public meeting at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 15 in the Cross Timbers Room of the Cleburne Conference Center, located at 1501 W. Henderson in Cleburne.

Adoption of the permanent rules is slated for a public hearing on Monday, Nov. 26, which will also to be held at the Cleburne Conference Center.

Once adopted, the new rules will become effective on Jan. 1, 2019.

For more information regarding these and other proposed permanent rules, please contact the Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District at 817-556-2299 or at the district offices located on the first floor of the Liberty Hotel, located at 205 S. Caddo St. in Cleburne.

ABOUT PGCD

The 81st Texas Legislature with a directive to conserve, protect and enhance the groundwater resources of Ellis, Johnson, Hill and Somervell Counties created the Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District in 2009.

In 2008 and 2009, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality designated large areas over the Trinity Aquifer from the Red River to Central Texas as Priority Groundwater Management Areas due to critical groundwater declines facing the area.

Since the establishment of the program, the district has conducted scientific research on local aquifers, educated the public about groundwater and conservation issues and registered over 1,200 wells.

The district is currently gathering aquifer level data and pumping data to better understand how water use affects groundwater supplies and minimize the chance that existing wells will be pumped dry. PGCD protects property values by preserving the quantity and quality of groundwater for future generations

PGCD is funded entirely through registration fees and water production fees on nonexempt wells.

Domestic wells, agricultural wells and any wells that produce less than 17.36 gallons per minute are exempt from water production fee rules and well metering.