The Drinking Water Protection Services was awarded grant funding in 2007 from the California State Department of Water Resources. Working in alliance with the Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) and the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA), the Monterey County Health Department implemented the three following groundwater protection activities:
- A Well Destruction Program was implemented which focused on abandoned drinking water wells in the Salinas Valley and North Monterey County areas. Property owners shall be required to properly destroy wells to assure they no longer pose a danger to drinking water quality or serve as conduits for potential contamination.
- A Geographic Information System (GIS) interface was developed and implemented with the existing Environmental Health ENVISION database in order to improve communication, efficiency and share well construction, destruction and drinking water quality monitoring data with all water management agencies, other water related community organizations, and the public.
- A public review was conducted and proposals for appropriate revisions to Monterey County Code, Chapter 15.08, Water Well Ordinance standards were accomplished to improve water quality protection and enhance enforcement mechanisms. A draft of the amended Water Well Ordinance has been completed and is available upon request.
Over 90% of Monterey County’s citizens are supplied by groundwater. Properly destroying abandoned wells protects our drinking water aquifers. So far, grant program activities have included public education and outreach activities, conducting abandoned well search activities and enforcement, and mapping abandoned wells. Addressing wells that pose the greatest threat to personal safety and groundwater quality will be our highest grant priority. To view the flyer regarding abandoned wells, click here. To learn more about the grant, click here (PowerPoint Slideshow).
The Department has been and will continue to be offering training opportunities for abandoned well management to well drilling contractors, water purveyors, personnel from State and other County agencies and the general public to illustrate the hazards associated with abandoned wells and how to properly destroy them. Call the Department at (831) 755-4507 for information on the procedures required and a list of area contractors.