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Explain Domestic vs Household Use Permits…

Well allows for… Horses?  As you look at land and properties in our mountain area for your horses, sometimes you will find that the zoning allows for horses other livestock on the land, but the well only allows for household-use, in other words, indoor use.  You will sometimes find household-use permits that will specify they allow for the watering of Irrigation or Livestock.  For example, the well permit will read:  “Household w/ Irrigation” or “Household w/ Livestock”.

This is not uncommon for our arid climate as we protect and be good stewards of the ground water supply in our area.
Domestic & Household-Use Wells:
Here is an excerpt from the Jefferson County, Colorado Planning & Zoning Department guide, “Water Smarts:  A Homeowner’s Guide to Mountain Groundwater”:

There are several well permit types issued by the Division of Water Resources.  Two types of permits are most important to the private homeowner who will be using ground water as a primary water source.  They are generally referred to as the domestic well permit and the household-use only permit.  

Both permits are for small capacity wells and each permit has restriction on the amount and usage of water that can be pumped.  Some wells are restricted to water use within the house only, while others allow limited livestock watering and irrigation of lawns and gardens.  You should check with the Division of Water Resources to determine the permit limitations for each type of well and the availability of permits in your area.

While there is considerable variation in residential well permits, the most common type issued today is the household-use only permit.  This permit gives a property owner the right to look for water (i.e., drill a well) and use the water inside their single-family home.  In most cases this type of permit does not allow the use of water outside your house.  

In some cases, the zoning of a property may allow the keeping of livestock, but the well permit may not allow the use of water for domestic animals.  In that case, you can keep horses or other livestock on your property, but you can not provide them with water from your well.  Most likely, your only option would be to “truck in” water for the animals.  

Domestic permits are often older residential permits, or those issued for properties larger than 35 acres.  Domestic wells can be used for up to three single-family dwellings and may give you the right to use water outside your house and for your animals.  However this does not, in turn, give the owner the right to build three houses.

Solutions:
The most common solution to provide water for your horses when you have a household-use only permit is, as they mentioned, having water, “trucked in”.  On a regular schedule, a water service truck brings a set amount of water.  Storage tanks are installed into your barn, garage or storage shed and kept warm in the winter with a tank warmer or from room heat (i.e., heated garage, tack room, apartment).  Another option is to carry a tank in a truck bed or on a trailer and get water as you need it from a local water service company.
In addition, some properties have a pond or stream that can be managed to supply the livestock with water year round.
What does water delivery cost?  For example:  Foothills Water Delivery Service based out of Bailey, www.foothillh2O.com, delivers 1000 gallons of water to Conifer for $100 or Evergreen for $135 or up to 4000 gallons for $195 to Conifer, $245 to Evergreen.

Click here for the entire “Water Smarts” pdf.

While a domestic well permit is ideal for horse property owners, there are solutions to water your horses if you have a household-use permit!  MtnHomes4Horses (c) 2014.

Posted in: Buyers FAQ