Is water in a hole after precipitation the underground water table?

Commissioner Bill Lee of Utah County asked me for one question he can ask the Utah County Health Department. Here it is:

If you dig a hole on a property where the soil immediately below the surface is wet from snowmelt, and the hole partially fills with water, are you absolutely certain it is the underground water table level or just a draining puddle?

How can science provide the answer?

Dig a 6′ to 10′ hole next to the shallow hole, install a piezometer encased in gravel and monitor the underground water table level.

Why is this important to me? Because Craig Bostock at the Utah County Health Department wrote in his subdivision feasibility letter for one of my parcels that water was observed 18″ below the surface on my 5.25-acre lot #8 in Benjamin, Utah.

Given 2016 was the wettest year in decades, the snowmelt was rapid and even though the surface was dry enough to walk on, can he be absolutely certain that the water observed at 18″ below the surface in a shallow hole was the underground water table or could it have been snowmelt water slowly sinking?

The answer is obvious to me–he can’t be certain and to make such a claim is fraudulent and phoney science; therefore, to mention that on my subdivision feasibility was abusive and an act of tyranny.

Already one buyer who submitted an offer has backed out after reading Craig’s letter. Would you want to buy a lot and build your dream house on land where someone said the water depth is 18″ below the surface?

If they really think water draining in a shallow hole is the underground water table then they should all be fired. If they don’t believe that but uphold it then they still should be fired.

No taxpayer-subsidized service monopolized by a government that can be performed as well or better by qualified citizens in the marketplace should be permitted in a free society. I’ll write more on this subject later.

by Robert John Stevens, February 22, 2018

How does Utah County Determine Water Depth?

by Robert John Stevens, September 20, 2017. Letter to Craig Bostock at the Utah County Health Department, Provo, Utah.

Hi Craig,

Please respond promptly to this email by detailing the process of determining water depth on a parcel. This is a fair, sincere request and deserves a reply. Here’s a draft for you to correct based upon my experiences with the Utah County Health Department (UCHD) since 2008:

The old way:

1. Dig one or more holes deeper than six feet. If the water depth is six feet deep or deeper, no more monitoring is required.

2. If the water depth is less than six feet then UCHD will monitor it QUARTERLY for a year using piezometers (perforated 6″ PVC pipe encased in gravel).

The new way.

1. Dig one or more holes deeper than six feet. If the water depth is six feet deep or deeper, no more monitoring is required. Or is it?

2. If the water depth is less than six feet then UCHD will monitor it MONTHLY for a year using piezometers (perforated 6″ PVC pipe encased in gravel). These tests are good for only five years.

3. Despite monitoring, at the Health Department’s discretion, the top of a black/gray line seen in the soil will determine water depth.

4. If at any time water is seen on the property, that will determine water depth and will override all previous methods.

5. Tests are invalid after subdivision approval. A new hole must be dug before a waste-water treatment system is installed for the Utah Health Department to make any last-minute adjustments.

Are these correct? Please help us all understand.

Sincerely,

Robert Stevens
CC: Bill Lee, Brandon Larsen, and Brian Voeks (Please get involved because there are no market pressures for Craig to reply nor document UCHD’s rules for determining water depth).