Water Well Inspection Program and Related Fees
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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10:00 AM -- Proposed Legislation Concerning Water Well Permit Fees and Well Inspection Program
Dick Brown, Colorado Water Well Contractors Association (CWWCA), discussed the regulation of water wells in Colorado. He explained that that the revenue from water well inspection fees has declined in recent years and and discussed the effect of this decline on the state's water well inspection program.
Joe Meigs, Chairman of the CWWCA Legislative Committee, discussed the role of the CWWCA and described regulation of water wells in Colorado. The well inspection program was instituted for the protection of the ground water resources and public health through enforcement of minimum well construction and pump installation standards. The program was created under Senate Bill 03-045. The program involves the enforcement of the state laws concerning well construction and pump installation through well construction and pump installation inspection, complaint investigation, and education and outreach. He explained how well inspection fees are used to pay for well inspection and discussed declines in water well inspection fees related to declines in water well construction. He explained how the decline in fee revenue has reduced the number of inspector and well inspections. The program currently consists of a Chief Well Inspector and two well inspectors. When created, the program was to have 5 full-time inspectors. He identified the number of well permit application for the years 2000 through 2015 (Attachment A) and urged the committee to request legislation to change how the well inspection program is funded to allow the hiring of more inspectors.
Mr. Brown discussed the current well inspection fee and how these moneys are used to pay for the well inspection program. He urged the committee to request legislation to increase the well inspection fee to enable the state to hire additional well inspectors. It should also change State Board of Examiners of Water Well Construction and Pump Installation Contractors to an enterprise so that the well inspection fees can be exempt from the Tax Payors Bill of Rights, also known as TABOR.
Mr. Meigs and Mr. Brown responded to questions from the committee about the proposed well inspection fee legislation.