Department reaches settlement agreement with Miller Plumbing and Heating

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-033 For Immediate Release: Feb. 2, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has reached a settlement agreement with Jim Miller, Miller Plumbing and Heating of Vandalia, for violations of the Missouri Well Driller's Act. 

The department, in conjunction with the Missouri Attorney General's Office, finalized the settlement agreement, which addresses violations of the Missouri Well Construction Rules.  The violations were related to Miller's failure to properly construct a ground source heat pump system for a funeral home in Vandalia.  

The settlement agreement requires Miller to plug the improperly constructed wells and includes a probationary permit period of three months. During the probationary period, Miller must notify the department before he, or anyone under his direct supervision, performs any regulated activity.  Notification must be provided at least two business days before beginning any regulated activity.  Civil monetary penalties of $7,000 were also paid to the Audrain County School District.

The Well Driller's Law was amended in 1993 to include minimum construction standards for ground source heat pump systems. The law was created in 1985 to protect groundwater from contamination due to improperly constructed wells.  Improperly constructed wells may act as conduits for contaminants such as septic tank effluent.  Contaminated groundwater can expose people to waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, hepatitis and giardiasis. 

After a well is constructed, the driller is required to submit a well certification record to the department.  Upon receipt by the department's Wellhead Protection Section, the well construction record is examined for adherence to the established minimum construction standards.  If the well is constructed properly, a state certification number is issued to the well owner.

If you had a heat pump system installed by Miller since 1994, and have not received a certification number from the department, please contact staff at 800-361-4827 or 573-368-2165.