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2014-12-18

BCRAGD holds enforcement hearing on three drillers

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

The Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District (BCRAGD) board of directors conducted an enforcement hearing on Thursday, Dec. 11, at the district's offices in Bandera. Under discussion were Notices of Violation (NOV) that had been issued to water well drillers Dean Tinnin, William McPike Sr., and Raul Zavala.
McPike had notified the district that he would be out of the state and would not be able to attend the hearing. His portion of the hearing was postponed to January.
Tinnin, a driller out of Kerrville, was cited with two NOVs that listed numerous violations of the district's rules, including Rule 6.1 F which requires all drillers to notify the district prior to beginning to drill. Other rule violations cited included improper logging and improper casing and/or grouting. He was also cited for not being present during active drilling of the well.
Tinnin was also cited with possible violations of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) rules.
According to BCRAGD staff, Tinnin came in to the BCRAGD office to apply for a permit in June, but said the well was already drilled.
During the hearing, Tinnin said that he believed one of the wells in question was in Kerr County and he had applied for his permit there.
Licensed water well driller Raul Zavala had been issued with NOVs on three geo-thermal heat loop wells he had drilled in Bandera County.
Zavala had also failed to obtain the proper permits to drill a well in the county. He was also cited for numerous other violations, including failure to submit a complete well log, improper lithological logging, and failure to turn in a pump installer's report.
Zavala, who generally works in East Texas and Oklahoma, said he drilled the three wells while working for a San Antonio company called Southwest Mechanical. "The man there said he would take care of all the paperwork," Zavala said.
After the board reconvened following an executive session, no action was announced on the Zavala NOVs. Tinnin was asked to work with BCRAGD's General Manager David Mauk to negotiate steps to mitigate the problems with the two wells he had been cited on. The hearing would be recessed and his case would be considered when the board reconvened the hearing in January.
In other action on the hearing agenda, the board voted unanimously to authorize the district's attorney, Richard Mosty, to file suit in District Court to enforce board imposed penalties on well driller Nick Marsh with Tejas Water Wells.
Property owners should be advised that any water well drilled in Bandera County must have a permit from the BCRAGD prior to the commencement of drilling. This action assures the property owner that BCRAGD staff will inspect the well as it progresses, insuring that the drilling is properly done. A well driller who follows the rules will also submit important scientific data to the district regarding the county's aquifers. Ask to see the paperwork. Don't assume your driller is abiding by the rules.