Sheriff’s Department: 1 Deputy Killed, 1 Injured in Rancho Cordova

Sacramento County Halting Well-Drilling for Orangvale Resident

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The drought here in California has made paying your water bill a bit more expensive for some homeowners — many are now looking to get around that by building wells on their property.

But that isn't always an easy process. In some cases county governments can stop individuals from building those wells at their homes.

Andranik Margaryan, like thousands of others, wants a well on his property, and according to county guidelines, he should be approved. However, the county is telling him there’s an exception with his land, and he wants to know why.

Hedman Drillings have been busy lately; busier than they’ve ever been, in fact. It used to take about a week for them to put a well outside your home, but not these days.

"Right now we're about three to four months out, and a permit can take anywhere up to two weeks to a month,” said manager Dan Hedman.

Hedman says the droughts brought in a wealth of customers tired of fees and meters.

"If you have a nice landscape and you're only allowed to water a few days a week, people are losing trees, losing grass,” said Hedman on the frustration of customers.

But one of Hedman's customers, Margaryan, says Sacramento County won’t allow him to disconnect from the city's water, and it’s going to cost him.

“It's $23,000 just to tap into their water, paying monthly fee the rest of your life," said Margaryan.

Sacramento County guidelines say, if you build a well, it has to be at least 150 feet from your home's septic tank, so groundwater doesn’t become contaminated.

Margaryan changed the design of his wells to accommodate to county rules, but he says the county won’t let him build a well near his septic tank unless he has two acres of land, and that it was a condition of buying this property — he had to tap into the city's water.

He says none of that was made clear to him when he bought the land.

"I grew up in the Soviet Union, this reminds me of that era. They want to dictate to me what to do," said Margaryan.

FOX40 reached out to county well people, but no one could speak about this specific case, but they did refer us, here, to the well regulation page on the county's website.