Cities can regulate and permit the drilling of domestic and industrial water wells within state guidelines. The state defines domestic wells in two categories. A household or family may use a domestic well for household use and for farm and domestic animals or for the irrigation of up to three acres of land to water lawns or gardens.
Non-household entities such as property owner associations or homeowners associations also are domestic up to five acres if the use is not commercial. Uses could include drinking water, restrooms and watering lawns.
OWRB limits how many municipal and commercial wells can be drilled in the aquifer, but it does not limit domestic wells.
OWRB does regulate domestic well construction standards.
The widespread proliferation of private domestic wells could impact the aquifer, city leaders fear. That aquifer makes up about one third of Norman’s water supply — the portion that is obtained by the city’s wells.
Last month, city council members discussed requiring water meters on all new wells to monitor how much water is being used. While state law allows private wells, it limits how much water can be drawn from those wells annually. The law allows for 3 acre feet per year for domestic household wells and 5 acre feet per year for non-household domestic wells.
Norman Utilities Director Ken Komiske said, depending on the acreage in question, that’s not much water. Meters would help people realize how much water they are using.