A new program would allow Dayton residents within the Lyon County Utilities service area to abandon their domestic wells and hook up to the county's water system.
"The whole idea is we'd rather see a municipal water system serving 10,000 people rather than 10,000 holes in the ground," said Deputy State Engineer Jason King. "You don't have 10,000 straws in the ground pumping water out. All water users within the basin will benefit because it goes to protect the source."
Water users and the area's water supply would benefit from a proposed domestic well credit program, according to Lyon County Utilities Director Mike Workman.
"Anytime you can connect to a good sound public system it's a good thing," he said. "And anytime we can plug wells that may be susceptible to some kind of contamination, that's a benefit to the aquifer."
At the request of Lyon County Utilities, Tim Wilson of the Nevada Division of Water Resources will hold a public hearing on the creation of a domestic well credit order for the Dayton Valley Hydrographic Basin at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Dayton Utilities meeting room.
The water credit is different from a water right, in that it goes to the utility, not the property owner and is not transferable, Workman said.
"It's a huge benefit," he said. "If a customer runs into a problem with their well and they're within our service area, with this we can connect them to the system."
Workman added property owners would still pay connection fees and service lines. "It's still fairly costly, but at least they'll have the availability of water," he said.
Property owners would not be forced to close their wells and join the utility if the well credit program is approved, Workman said, but it would be a good move for most.
"Many people will see this as a huge benefit," he said. "Especially the homeowners who have issues with their well quality or quantity."
The program would allow Lyon County Utilities to receive a well credit for each customer with a well in the proscribed area who agrees to close that well, or owners of lots created before July 1, 1993, in that area, even if they don't have a completed well.
Workman described the service area as extending from the Carson City line to Six Mile Canyon, excluding some ranches and other spots.
Well credits would be for domestic use only, Workman said. For a residential lot of 10,000 square feet the credit would be worth .7 acre-feet per year, or 228,098 gallons per year, which is about what an average household uses, he said.
n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 882-2111, ext. 351.
If you go
What: Domestic well credit hearing
When: 6 p.m. Oct. 13
Where: Dayton Utilities meeting room, 34 Lakes Boulevard, Dayton
Call: (775) 684-2800