Rice WDR Amendments Approved Including Drinking Water Well Testing

Rice WDR Amendments Approved Including Drinking Water Well Testing

The Rice Waste Discharge Requirements Order (WDR) amendments were approved at the Central Valley Water Board meeting on February 7. Changes were necessary as the result of litigation to the East San Joaquin WDR Order. The pending changes affect all coalitions managing the WDR Orders, with the least impact to rice. We will provide updates once we receive the changes in final format.

After January 1, 2022, growers must conduct annual drinking water supply well monitoring for nitrates unless, before that date, “the State Water Board determines that the legislature has established a comprehensive statewide program that assures that private drinking water wells will be routinely monitored for nitrate contamination and users of the wells will be notified of the results”.

You can choose to collect a groundwater sample from a drinking water well now for your personnel background purposes. The laboratory you contact will provide information on proper sampling methods, chain-of-custody, and quality assurance/quality control protocols for groundwater samples. Certified laboratories can be found at the web link: www.waterboards.ca.gov\elap.

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sunset over the rice fields

Drinking Water Supply Well Monitoring goes Online

Drinking water supply well monitoring is a new regulatory requirement for Sacramento Valley growers/landowners starting January 1, 2022. Rice growers in the Sacramento Valley are automatically members of the Sacramento Valley Rice Growers Coalition, with the requirement specific to wells that supply drinking water on parcels where rice is produced. Drinking water supply wells on non-rice parcels receive coverage under the Sacramento River Watershed Coalition. Rice grown in the San Joaquin Valley starts earlier and growers/landowners are directed to the local water quality coalition.*