WATER OFFICIALS SAY STRICTER RULES ON WELL PUMPING NEEDED
By KIM KLEMAN Southwest Florida Water Management District
and DAVID ORKAN officials said too many people are pumping too
Tribune Staff Writers
Some days, when Slow Lake is much water from wells.
especially low, dead fish float near
the lakefront home of Mariela Karp.
Weeds poke up from the lake bottom
and the smell is putrid, she says. Wednesday, for example, the dis-
"It looks horrible," Karp told trict approved a plan that would
water management officials at a allow Sico, Inc. to drill another well
meeting Wednesday. "When the at the Avila Golf and Country Club
level of water is down, this is a real near Slow and Byrd lakes in
swamp." part because that single well would-
Karp's problem is common to n't significantly affect the area, offi-
many residents of northwestern cials said.
Hillsborough County because too "We have set out the rules and
many people are pumping too much criteria," said board member Wil-
water, officials say. Some wells, for liam Stubbs. "Whether it's right or
instance, have been sucked dry and wrong, it meets the criteria."
lakes are in peril, residents say. District officials agreed, how-
"We depend on water that comes ever, that the criteria need to be
from the surface of the area for our changed. They plan to revise water
drinking water," said Ben Atkins, of pumping rules so they will be able to
the Byrd Lake area. "Our lake is di- look at the areawide effects of their
rectly connected to the ground permits.
water system and we have problems "We'll be looking at the cumula-
with the lake level during dry pert- tive impact of water drawn in the
ods." area," Samson said. "Now, our rules
The problem could have vast im- do not allow us to do that."
plications for the Southwest Florida Also, water officials are pushing
Water Management District, which areas to use treated waste water to
allocates water resources, those offi- sprinkle lawns, golf courses and
cials admit. shrubbery. That will cut back on the
"Continued growth in northwest need to irrigate with ground water,
Hillsborough County is outstaging they say.
the available water in northwest Sico, Inc. officials, for instance
Hillsborough County," said Bruce are required to begin using treated
Samson, chairman of the district's waste water to irrigate by November
governing board. 1987, their permit says.
And that situation may occur "Northwest Hillsborough is a
elsewhere if the district doesn't act good an example as you can get,'
soon, those officials agreed. Samson said of pumping problems.
"This is the tip of the iceberg," During the drought last summer
said district board member Bruce many residents in northwest Hills
Lambert. "This little case brings out borough complained that pumping
a big problem." permits lowered the water table tc
The district issues permits to the point where home wells went
pump water based on the effects of dry.
that particular permit on an area, "Growth needs to be limited so
Samson said. that roads and water and all thosd
services are available," Samson