by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG- According to a new county resolution, before building in an unincorporated area of the county where water will be needed, the owners or builders must show proof of adequate water supply before a permit will be issued by the county’s building inspector. The resolution will take affect starting May 1, 2011.
The county commission altered the county building code because much of the property that can be developed in the county may have an inadequate or inferior supply of ground water. Residents within the county’s subdivisions rely on wells that draw from ground water as the primary source of water for household use.
The county’s building code was amended based upon evidence and testimony presented at a public hearing held earlier this month in the county commission meeting room.
Resolution 11-10 is grounded in the International Residential Building Code and the International Building Code and in Colorado Revised Statutes. It gives the building inspector the power to determine which buildings would require an adequate water supply.
Customers of a central water provider who delivers potable water through water lines will have to show proof of water with a letter of availability or a tap receipt from the provider.
Those who use a provider who hauls water to the property, will have to show a letter of availability or tap receipt from the provider. Customers of these providers will also have to sign a waiver acknowledging that, “Huerfano County provides no assurance or representation that the use of bulk water and a cistern will be approved or acceptable longterm source of potable water.” The waiver will also state that, “There is no guarantee that bulk water will always be available for sale and Huerfano County has no authority or jurisdiction over water suppliers or their decision to sell water in bulk to the general public.”
If a well is in use, then individual water well permits may be obtained by contacting the Colorado State Engineer’s Office at 719-542-3368. Individual wells must produce a certified minimum of one gallon of water per minute. The certification can be obtained after a licensed well driller, pump installer, professional engineer or geologist has tested the flow rate of the well.
The resolution allows for an appeal to the Huerfano County Board of County Commissioners. “Water is a valuable resource in Huerfano County,” Steve Channel, the county’s land use manager said. “We have to make sure that people, when they build in the county, can get it and it’s good water.”