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DNR to hold public hearing tonight on new rules for wells and heat exchanges


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The DNR is looking to change some rules on how wells and underground heat pumps are licensed and drilled and inspected and is holding public meetings around the state on the issue.

New state laws affect the current rules about wells on the books, and DNR hydrogeologist Marty Nessman says that now includes those geothermal exchanges. "The underground heat exchange drilling, they actually circulate a fluid into the ground, and that transfers heat both from the ground and into the ground."

Nessman says well drillers will be able to get a single license for both drilling wells and heat exchanges. There's also language that regulates heat exchangers the same way that wells are.

The changes would also include new language on how the permits for wells and heat pumps transfer with the change of a property transfer, and also lays out procedures for such an inspection. It's a minor change, but the hearing is required any time the rules on licensure change.

The meeting starts tonight at the Wausau Room at UW-Marathon County at 4pm.