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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 373
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F.S. 373.209
373.209 Artesian wells; penalties for violation.
(1) No owner, tenant, occupant, or person in control of an artesian well shall knowingly and intentionally:
(a) Allow the well to flow continuously without a valve or mechanical device for checking or controlling the flow.
(b) Permit the water to flow unnecessarily.
(c) Pump a well unnecessarily.
(d) Permit the water from the well to go to waste.
(2) A well is exempt from the provisions of this section unless the Department of Environmental Protection can show that the uncontrolled flow of water from the well does not have a reasonable-beneficial use, as defined in s. 373.019.
(3) Any person who violates this section is subject to either:
(a) The remedial measures provided for in s. 373.436; or
(b) A civil penalty of $150 a day for each and every day of such violation and for each and every act of violation. The civil penalty may be recovered by the water management board of the water management district in which the well is located or by the department in a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction in the county where the defendant resides, in the county of residence of any defendant if there is more than one defendant, or in the county where the violation took place. The place of suit shall be selected by the board or department, and the suit, by direction of the board or department, shall be instituted and conducted in the name of the board or department by appropriate counsel. The payment of any such damages does not impair or abridge any cause of action which any person may have against the person violating this section.
(4) The penalties provided by this section shall apply notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary.
History.s. 2, ch. 28253, 1953; s. 323, ch. 71-136; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 1, ch. 74-279; s. 46, ch. 79-65; s. 146, ch. 79-400; s. 264, ch. 94-356; s. 93, ch. 95-143; s. 8, ch. 98-88; s. 8, ch. 2020-158.
Note.Former ss. 370.053, 373.041.