CGA members are active in the development of many of the standards that are required by state law. The Depart of Water Resources (DWR) is required to develop minimum standards for water wells, cathodic protection wells, and geothermal heat exchange wells (GHEW). Those standards are included in three separate documents. The current Well Construction Standards are found in Bulletin 74-81 approved in 1981. Bulletin 74-90 and GHEW standards, issued as draft documents in 1991 and 1999 respectively, have provided supplemental updates.
CGA has long supported the updating of the standards and the combining of the three documents into one. It has been over 25 years since these standards have been updated. New technology, changes in construction techniques, and the passage of new groundwater legislation make the need for updating these standards a high priority to protect the State’s groundwater.
Concerns in the groundwater industry and in local regulatory agencies about the urgency to update well construction standards led to the formation of a combined effort in 2010 by CGA, the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (CCDEH), and the California Environmental Health Association (CEHA). A three-year effort culminated in September of 2013 with a draft document that was submitted to DWR for review. As of this date, the DWR has still not issued an updated final document.
CGA is requesting support from the California Legislature to force the DWR to finish their review of the draft Water Well Construction Standards and publish them in a timely manner, so that the eventual implementation can assure that the State’s groundwater resource can be protected as new groundwater management practices are developed.