On Friday, Sept. 3, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners sent out notice of a public hearing at the board’s next regular meeting to receive input on some proposed changes to the existing Board of Health regulations that govern “health hazards, potential health hazards and county wells.”

The commissioners discussed well water safety and potential changes to the existing rules at a Thursday, Sept. 2 work session.

According to the notice announcing the hearing, the intent of the revisions is to “make updates to the rodent control and uncontrolled vegetation sections, and eliminate redundancies between the Guilford County Solid Waste Ordinance and the solid waste section of the Regulations Governing Health Hazards and Potential Health Hazards. Additionally, the revisions will align county wells rules with recent changes to state rules and simplify requirements for Certified Well Contractors to interpret and implement these rules.”

One big change would be the elimination of criminal penalties for well violations.

“We’ve consulted with our legal department,” said Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann at the work session, “and we are eliminating the area where we have criminal penalties associated with well rules.  We can always maintain our civil penalties.”

Vann said that, if the changes are enacted, then anyone not in compliance with well rules might be fined but they wouldn’t be “criminalized.”

The new rules would also make the minimum allowable length of well casings to be 43 feet.  Currently, the county’s Board of Health rule calls for a minimum length of 40 feet.

There are other proposed changes as well.  The full text of proposed revisions can be seen at the Guilford County Clerk to Board’s office, the Guilford County Health Department – or online at www.guilfordcountync.gov.

County officials said that former Guilford County Commissioner Billy Yow – who runs a well drilling business – helped the county shape some of the new rules.

The public hearing will be held on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 5:30 p.m.in the commissioners meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House at 301 W. Market Street in Greensboro.

If approved, the revisions would become effective October 1 of this year.