p di _
Pasco dives g'
into water well
SBy JON RABIROFF Pasco County rancher Freeman
Tribune Staff Writer Polk, whose property sits between .
the two well fields, filed objections
NEW PORT RICHEY Pasco to the permit renewal applications,
County has dived head-first into a saying the authority should be de-
dispute between two water agencies nied the exceptions and permits,
Sby filing papers in favor of main- The Water Authority, in turn, chal-
taining well-pumping limitations al- lenged the rule itself in an attempt
Steady on the books. to sidestep Polk's objections.
Also, Rep. Charles R. Smith, D- An administrative hearing 0 !
Brooksville, said Tuesday he had the Water Authority's challenge has
carried through on his promise to been scheduled for March 23 and 24
file a bill that would make the so in Brooksville.
called 5-3-1 administrative rule a Pasco County Attorney Ben lar-
state law. rill said the county has filed a peti-
Smith said the bill would pass "if tion to intervene on behalf of the
the Legislature is serious about water management district at the
managing water and the rights of hearing because the 5-3-1 is a
property owners. To abolish (the "sound policy for water conserva- i
rule) would be ludicrous." tion," but there are reasonable con-
The rule set by the Southwest ditions set for the granting of except
Florida Water Management District tons.
In 1974 mandates that district of- - '"Te existence of the 5.-3-I :
ficials scrutinize pumping that re-
duces water levels in nearby wells promotes the continued existence
by 5 feet, lowers the water table by and development of environmental-
3 feet or draws down lakes and ly Sensitive areas andwetlands such
streams by 1 foot. as, but not limited to, bayheads, cy-
press domes and freshwater maris
The West Coast Regional Water es within Pasco County," the coun-
: Supply Authority has challenged the ty's petition said.
, '> <: validity of the 5-3-1 rule contending "The existence of the 5-3-1 rule
Sit is antiquated and Jeopardizes the promotes conservation of water rej
water supply to more than 1 million sources and effectively encourages
people in the Tampa Bay area. the sound management of unaer; s
The rule challenge stems from ground water resources and surface ,,
the authority's desire to renew water bodies within Pasco Counfi7, -
pumping permits at the Cypress it added. Ti
Creek and Cross Bar Ranch well By intervening, Pasco County 'it-
fields in Pasco. The authority asked torneys will be allowed to partici .
that it be allowed an exemption pate in the hearings next week *and
from the 5-feet portion of the rule cross-examine witnesses If so de- :
'at both locations, sired. i*