2018 Hirst Fix Conference Call Update

Good news on Hirst!

The Governor has signed SB 6091, a REALTOR® supported bill, to fix the State Supreme Court’s Hirst Growth Management Act decision regarding water availability for new private wells.

Please join us for a 1-hour informational conference call on Friday, February 16th at 1:30pm with Bill Clarke, Washington REALTORS® Public Policy Director, who will provide an update on Hirst and answer questions live submitted via our text service.

Listen to the Conference Call:

The Hirst Decision 

Access Department of Ecology Map Here.


Instream Flows in Your Watershed


Email Bill Clarke with questions and/or examples of clients affected by the Hirst Decision.

Hirst Resources & Information

Any information on this website and in the conference call do not represent legal advice. Under the Real Estate Agency Law, RCW Chapter 18.86, brokers should advise their clients who need assistance to seek legal counsel or review by a qualified consultant.

Friday, February 16
1:30–2:30pm


Conference Call Update with
Bill Clarke,
Washington REALTORS®
Public Policy Director

Bill Clarke

Texted Questions

Audio answer begins after the question has been read.

Does Hirst address community wells? Since class 4 wells are part of this, do they need water rights to go over the 950 gallon a day threshold? How can we drill a class 4 well, which can mean up to 6 hookups? How do people wanting to drill a private well pay the 500.00 fee and to whom?
Audio of the Answer: 17:39

Why won't the governor sign the bill with Skagit county included?
Audio of the Answer: 19:28

In regards to: "existing wells have been grandfathered and deemed to have satisfied the requirement to have legal water supply under the state building code", Does this provision apply to the entire state including areas that did not get fixed via 6091 (ie: Yakima Basin)
Audio of the Answer: 24:13

Is there a web lookup that provides an answer to gallons per day given an address or county or zip code?
Audio of the Answer: 25:53

How are they going to monitor the 950 gal per day limit or 350 in droughts?
Audio of the Answer: 27:27

I understand Klickitat county won't send a needed letter about well sustainability to lenders. Can you talk about why and more details?
Audio of the Answer: 30:33

Define again, "exempt" and "non-exempt" well
Audio of the Answer: 30:59

Explain watershed plans... you mentioned plans need to be updated by 2019
Audio of the Answer: 32:13

Did SB 6091 identify the "policing authority", or can we assume it is our County? It's not Department of Ecology, is it?
Audio of the Answer: 35:41

So to get a building permit and you need a well the process is to pay 500 and then you will be told how many galleons you get. I'm so confused, lol
Audio of the Answer: 37:48

Does water metering imply taxation on water from private wells?
Audio of the Answer: 39:53

Is there a fee in all counties to dig a well?
Audio of the Answer: 41:58

Would meters be required for existing wells?
Audio of the Answer: 43:12

Snohomish and King county (in the grey areas) are those 5000 gal per day limit? Are they still requiring a disclaimer signed with the permit?
Audio of the Answer: 43:46

Can a home with a hand dug well, drill a new well without the 500.00 fee?
Audio of the Answer: 44:53

For Skagit County recreational zoned property can an above ground water system be created to get a building permit?
Audio of the Answer: 45:41

Any compensation if you wish to abandon an existing well?
Audio of the Answer: 46:17

We've been told that the watershed plan update may lead to removal of the $500 charge and removal of the 3000 gal limit. Is that possible?
Audio of the Answer: 47:27

Could you please speak on properties with riparian rights? I'm in Clallam county. Thanks!
Audio of the Answer: 48:27

Comment: Yes, Skagit has approved a few water catchment systems last year
Audio of the Answer: 49:38

What is an example of a purveyor? For who makes up the water shed county, tribe and largest purveyor?
Audio of the Answer: 49:54

What was the challenge that caused the tribe to pursue using their treaty rights to get Skagit ruling changed?
Audio of the Answer: 50:33

So the fix is really just "in theory"? They are not monitoring the water so it's just a theoretical fix?
Audio of the Answer: 52:29