(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.
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.
(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.
The commissioner may adopt rules to administer this section.