The city of Westminster plans not to contest Wakefield Valley Golf Club Inc.'s new state permit to pump 110,000 additional gallons of water a day out of the limestone formation that underlies the valley.
But city officials are worried that the permit might hurt Westminster's pending request to increase its water allowance from the Wakefield and Carfaro wells by an annual average of 500,000 gallons a day. The city currently is allowed to pump an average of 400,000 gallons a day from the wells.
The state Water Resources Administration approved the golf club's water appropriation permit Sept. 27 and will issue the permit if no one contests it by Oct. 14, said Kenneth
M. Miller, chief of the WRA's water appropriation permits section.
The golf club's new 121,000 gallon-per-day average allocation is 57,000 gallons a day less than owner Hank Majewski asked for, but 11 times its current permit for an 11,000 gallon-per-day average. The club will be allowed up to 410,000 gallons a day during the month of maximum use, usually in summer. Its current maximum is 15,000 gallons.
"I'm not comfortable not knowing what we're going to get," Public Works Director Thomas B. Beyard told City Council members during Monday night's meeting. However, he recommended that the council concentrate on its allocation rather than contest the golf club's permit.
Council President Kenneth A. Yowan said he is confident the state Water Resources Administration will approve the city's s application, but
See WATER, 7B
did not understand why the two requests were not processed together.
The two requests are separate issues, said Terrance W. Clark, chief of WRA's water rights division. Westminster basically wants all the water that is left under the valley, he said, "which is harder to determine, how much is there in the basin for them to withdraw."
Patrick A. Hammond, project hydrogeologist for Westminster's application, said he wants the city to provide an inventory of wells and springs used for water supplies within 1,500 feet of the Carfaro and Wakefield wells, an analysis of rock fractures (fractures contain water) and a report of tests showing the effect the requested increase would have on nearby wells.
He will use that information to
come up with a recommendation on the city's request.
Water pumped by the city and the golf course will affect Copps Branch, the stream that runs from near the Western Maryland College golf course to join Little Pipe Creek southwest of Carroll Lutheran Village.
The state requires only a small reserve for Copps Branch (200,000 gallons a day minimum flow) because the stream "doesn't have any particular biotic life" that WRA would need to protect, Mr. Clark said. He said the remaining underground water is available for allocation to users.
Mr. Majewski said at a public hearing in May that he needed the extra water to fill ponds, water fairways and greens, and wash equipment. His request was supported by local residents.