Well driller, Wis. AG reach agreement
MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a settlement on Monday with a southeastern Wisconsin well driller and his company resolving allegations of violating well construction laws.
Todd Huemann and his company, T. Huemann Well & Pump, allegedly violated well location and well construction laws in addition to well construction reporting requirements. Huemann has allegedly violated similar requirements multiple times by improperly locating wells, neglecting to obtain variances, failing to comply with variance conditions and failing to properly construct bedrock wells. Huemann allegedly failed to comply with reporting requirements despite receiving multiple reminders from the Department of Natural Resources.
If wells are not constructed properly they may expose people who drink their water to pathogens and toxins, Van Hollen says. Gaps in the annular space may enable surface contaminants to travel down the casing to the aquifer, he added.
Wells must be constructed certain minimum distances from possible contamination sources like private sewage treatment systems. The DNR may issue variances from the requirements in an effort to keep the water supply safe.
Within 30 days after drilling a well, drillers must submit well construction reports to the DNR to properly identify well location and construction violations. The DNR requires drillers to be familiar with construction requirements before drilling since the DNR cannot be on hand to inspect all well constructions. The DNR must rely on the drillers to obtain variances if needed and comply with variance conditions when the variances are issued. Well drillers must report the work they do.
Under the terms of a settlement, Huemann agreed to notify the DNR where his company plans to work each day so that staff from the department can inspect its work. Huemann must also pay $23,000 in costs, fees and forfeitures and agreed to pay added forfeitures if reports are submitted late or if needed variances are not sought out over the next three years.