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Nockamixon to further consider groundwater preservation ordinance


After a 45-minute public hearing discussion of a proposed revised groundwater preservation ordinance at its June 16 meeting, the Nockamixon Township Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to further continue consideration of adoption of the ordinance at its July 21 meeting.

Over five years in the making, through the efforts of township officials, their staffs, and scientist and lay volunteers from Bridgeton and Tinicum as well as Nockamixon, the proposed ordinance had been advertised earlier in the month, following favorable review by both the Bucks County Planning Commission and the Bucks County Board of Health.

Only one of the five current supervisors has participated in the “back and forth” that has taken place in the development of the proposal over the years, and those that were new to the subject, including two who just took office this year, were especially interested in having another month to get up to speed on the matter.

While the proposal streamlines where groundwater rules would fit into the body of township regulations, it is especially concerned with helping to assure adequate supplies for all local wells, as individual property owners propose any changes in their use of the common groundwater resource.

It is also especially concerned with helping to assure effectiveness of the ordinance in the event of any court challenges. In those two key regards, it has received extensive consideration and support from both the township engineer and the township solicitor.

During the discussion, officials emphasized that minor requests for changes in water use, such as for adding a room to a house, would not be burdened by the new proposal, while all cases would be subject to individual testing, instead of being subject to general criteria.

Officials also emphasized that the future viability of the use of wells for drinking water in the township was at stake, and that without adequate preservation of the common resource, the township might be forced to enter into a public water connection, which would entail large assessments for each property owner.

Also at the June 16 meeting, in the latest effort to head off possible problems when properties change hands in Nockamixon, Brian K. Patterson of Bux-Mont Surveying Services successfully presented a lot line adjustment request, regarding the Hall and Trouts properties on Route 611/Easton Road.