Private Wells

From left, Town Commissioners David Ruffner, Ronald Ford and Carrie Comegys pass Ordinance 2019-01 as the public offered no comment and town manager Elizabeth Jo Manning records the final vote.

SUDLERSVILLE — Ordinance 2019-01 prohibiting the use of private wells by town residents was passed with a unanimous vote by Sudlersville Town Commission during the Wednesday, Aug. 7, meeting.

The amended section states “in addition to any fines imposed for a violation, the owner of any property in which water from a private well is used for any purpose other than those set forth by the Clean Water Act of 1974, Federal Housing Act, and House and Urban and Development where property is able to make a connection, shall pay the prevailing base sewer charge plus any excess usage charges.”

Those charges are based on the highest quarterly water usage in the 12-month period immediately proceeding the illegal use of the private well water or a minimum of 12,000 gallons per quarter.

For those found to violate the ordinance a second or third time, the town may require the private well be closed at the owner’s expense. If said well is not closed with 30 days of that, the town may close the well with the cost being passed on to the property owner.

“The failure of the property owner to pay such costs shall result in a lien upon the property collectible in the same manner as unpaid taxes and utility charges. The town may assess a fee to cover the costs of administration, inspection and incidental costs,” the ordinance states.

Town sewer rates are are based on metered water consumption.

Ordinance 2019-01 also stipulates that illegal use of private wells contribute to sewerage that is treated by the town facilities and is not charged to property owner because it does not pass through the town’s meter. Thus, this is an effort to recoup associated costs to the town.

The ordinance took effect upon its adoption Wednesday, Aug. 7, with Town Commissioners Ronald Ford, Carrie Comegys and David Ruffner all voting in favor. Town Commissioner Larry Leonard was absent due to illness.

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