Shenandoah City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to create sanitary-control easements within 150 feet of wells during a May 27 meeting.

Shenandoah Public Works Director Jospeh Peart said the ordinance became necessary following an inspection from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, when it was noted one of the city's water plants, located at the city's water tower, did not have the required easement.

"The purpose of that easement is to protect from ... things such as sewage drain fields, feed lots and things of that nature," Peart said. "The idea is to protect that well site from allowing pollutants to get into the aquifers. Passing an easement by ordinance is an approved method by TCEQ."

Peart noted the majority of the easement is on city property, but it does go into some properties on Boulevard Green, though City Attorney Bill Ferebee noted none of the impacted houses have been sold.

According to the ordinance, "privies, sewage, sewage treatment plants, livestock and animal pens, solid waste disposal sites or underground petroleum and chemical storage tanks and liquid transmission pipelines, or abandoned and improperly sealed wells" within 150 feet of the water plant will be found in violation and can be punishable with up to a $2,000 fine.

The city's remaining water plants all have existing easements.