Planning board approves a change sought by water companies to reduce setback


The Wakulla County Planning Commission voted last week to recommend that the county’s regulations on wellhead protection be amended to reduce a development buffer from 300 feet to 100 feet after representatives from local water companies said the buffer would create difficulties.

The ordinance proposes a 1,000-foot buffer from wellheads for any toxic or hazardous substances, and 300-foot development buffer.
The planning commission meeting on Monday, Dec. 4, was attended by representatives of Talquin Electric, City of Sopchoppy, and the Panacea Area Water System – three of the primary water providers in Wakulla County.
John Hallas of Talquin told planning commissioners that the 300-foot buffer on development would mean the wellhouse building would have to be away from the well. He also noted that it would basically require a 10-acre parcel to put in a well, and they are extremely difficult to find.
Walt Dickson of PAWS noted a proposed location for a new wellhead in Medart is within 275-feet of the elementary school. It was noted as well that two of the Panacea wells are more than 50 years old.