Wasteful or defective wells
- • permanent abandonment of old well
(1) Whenever the Water Resources Commission finds that any well, including any well exempt under ORS 537.545 (Exempt uses), is by the nature of its construction, operation or otherwise causing wasteful use of ground water, is unduly interfering with other wells or surface water supply, is a threat to health, is polluting ground water or surface water supplies, is causing substantial alteration of ground water temperatures or is causing substantial thermal interference with other wells contrary to ORS 537.505 (Short title) to 537.795 (ORS 537.505 to 537.795 supplementary) and 537.992 (Civil penalties), the commission may order discontinuance of the use of the well, impose conditions upon the use of such well to such extent as may be necessary to remedy the defect or order permanent abandonment of the well according to specifications of the commission.
(2) In the absence of a determination of a critical ground water area, any order issued under this section imposing conditions upon interfering wells shall provide to each party all water to which the party is entitled, in accordance with the date of priority of the water right.
(3) A landowner who replaces an old well by drilling a new well shall permanently abandon the old well if the old well is within a setback as defined in well construction rules adopted by the commission. Permanent abandonment of a well located within a setback shall occur within one year after the function of the well is replaced or within one year after the water right, if applicable, is transferred to the new well, whichever is later. [1955 c.708 §25; 1981 c.919 §2; 1985 c.673 §71; 1987 c.442 §2; 1989 c.201 §6; 1989 c.833 §59; 1993 c.774 §12]
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