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    Subdivision 1. Permit. (a) Notwithstanding any department or agency rule to the contrary,
the commissioner shall issue, on request by the owner of the property and payment of the permit
fee, permits for the reinjection of water by a properly constructed well into the same aquifer from
which the water was drawn for the operation of a groundwater thermal exchange device.
(b) As a condition of the permit, an applicant must agree to allow inspection by the
commissioner during regular working hours for department inspectors.
(c) Not more than 200 permits may be issued for small systems having maximum capacities
of 20 gallons per minute or less. The small systems are subject to inspection twice a year.
(d) Not more than ten permits may be issued for larger systems having maximum capacities
from 20 to 50 gallons per minute. The larger systems are subject to inspection four times a year.
(e) A person issued a permit must comply with this section for the permit to be valid.
    Subd. 2. Water use requirements apply. Water use permit requirements and penalties under
chapter 103F and related rules adopted and enforced by the commissioner of natural resources
apply to groundwater thermal exchange permit recipients. A person who violates a provision of
this section is subject to enforcement or penalties for the noncomplying activity that are available
to the commissioner and the Pollution Control Agency.
    Subd. 3. Construction requirements. (a) Withdrawal and reinjection for the groundwater
thermal exchange device must be accomplished by a closed system in which the waters drawn
for thermal exchange do not have contact or commingle with water from other sources or with
polluting material or substances. The closed system must be constructed to allow an opening
for inspection by the commissioner.
    (b) Wells that are part of a groundwater thermal exchange system may not serve another
function, except water may be supplied to the domestic water system if:
    (1) the supply is taken from the thermal exchange system ahead of the heat exchange unit; and
    (2) the domestic water system is protected by an airgap or backflow prevention device as
described in rules relating to plumbing enforced by the commissioner of labor and industry.
    (c) A groundwater thermal exchange system may be used for domestic water heating only
if the water heating device is an integral part of the heat exchange unit that is used for space
heating and cooling.
    Subd. 4. Rules. The commissioner may adopt rules to administer this section.
History: 1989 c 326 art 3 s 38; 1991 c 355 s 43; 2007 c 140 art 12 s 2

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes