Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department Of Health
Chapter 590. Waterworks Regulations
1/19/2021

12VAC5-590-840. Groundwater sources.

A. A groundwater source includes all water obtained from drilled wells and springs. Wells and springs should be protected from contamination during construction. All public water supply wells shall be constructed by registered Virginia contractors. All wells shall be constructed in a manner to protect groundwater resources by preventing contaminated water or water having undesirable physical, chemical, or radiological characteristics from entering potable water aquifers. All groundwater sources must be analyzed for chemical, physical, radiological and bacteriological quality in order to determine treatment requirements. Groundwater containing total coliform concentrations of less than 100 and more than three organisms per 100 milliliters based on the geometric mean of 20 or more samples shall be disinfected. Groundwater containing total coliform concentrations of 100 or more organisms per 100 milliliters based on the geometric mean of 20 or more samples constitutes unacceptable contamination for disinfection only. Groundwater with widely fluctuating or increasing bacteriological results may be determined by the division to be unsuitable for disinfection treatment alone.

The class of well to be constructed shall be determined by the division. All well lot, well location, and well construction requirements contained in this section may be varied by the division as specific geologic and site conditions dictate.

1. Minimum well lot requirements:

a. The well lot shall provide a distance of at least 50 feet from the well to all property lines of the well lot. Larger well lots may be required under certain conditions. Fencing of the well lot may be required under certain conditions;

b. If the well lot does not adjoin a public road, an all-weather access road shall be provided and recorded as part of the well lot;

c. The well lot shall be graded to divert surface runoff away from the well and to prevent ponding on the well lot;

d. The well lot or lots must be located by a survey, and a plat plan prepared. The final plat plan must agree with the preliminary plat plan with respect to size and boundaries of the lot or lots selected for well or wells. One of the following must be submitted:

(1) A copy of the plat plan showing that it has been duly recorded and signed by the clerk of the circuit court for the jurisdiction where the well is located and giving the deed book and page number and date of recording will be required before a construction permit can be issued or

(2) If the well lot is identified on a recorded plan of the subdivision as a well lot, then this is acceptable, if recorded as indicated in subdivision A 1 d (1) above; and

e. In addition, a dedication document duly recorded with the clerk of the circuit court must be furnished stating that the well lot shall be used only for waterworks appurtenances as long as this lot is utilized as part of a waterworks.

2. Minimum well location requirements:

a. The horizontal distance from the well to any septic tank, purification field, pit privy, cesspool, barnyard, hog lot, or source of similar contamination, as well as all surface runoff from such actual or potential sources of contamination, shall be at least 50 feet;

b. The horizontal distances from the well to any pipe carrying sewage or pipe in which sewage can back up shall be at least 50 feet; and

c. The horizontal distance from the well to any petroleum or chemical storage tank or pipe line or similar source of contamination shall be at least 50 feet, except that where plastic type well casing is used, the separation distance shall be at least 100 feet. This 100-foot separation may be obtained by an enlarged well lot, easements, deed restrictions, or other equivalent legal means.

3. Minimum construction requirements for Class I wells:

a. The well shall be drilled and cased to a depth sufficient to exclude undesirable groundwater, but in no case shall the casing be less than 100 feet in depth;

b. The diameter of the drill hole to the depth required above shall be at least three inches greater than the outside diameter of the couplings of the casing to be used; and

c. The annular space around the casing shall be grouted to a depth of at least 100 feet in a manner satisfactory to the division. When the outer casing cannot be removed, the annular spacing between the drill hole and the outer casing shall also be sealed in a manner approved by the division.

4. Minimum construction requirements for Class II wells. This classification includes two types of construction, either of which is acceptable:

a. Type A wells in which the annular space around the casing is grouted a minimum of 20 feet from the surface:

(1) The well shall be drilled and cased to a depth of at least 100 feet; and

(2) The cased drill hole shall pass through at least the first 50 feet of unconsolidated formation such as caving sand, gravel or other material that will collapse against the casing;

b. Type B wells in which the annular space around the casing is grouted:

(1) The well shall be drilled and cased to a depth sufficient to exclude undesirable groundwater, but in no case shall the casing be less than 50 feet in length;

(2) The diameter of drill hole to the depth required above shall be at least three inches greater than the outside diameter of the couplings of the casing to be used;

(3) The lower end of the enlarged portion of the drill hole should terminate in solid rock or other impervious formation when practical to do so; and

(4) The annular space around casing shall be grouted to a depth of at least 50 feet in a manner satisfactory to the division. When the outer casing cannot be removed the annular spacing between the drill hole and the outer casing shall be sealed in a manner approved by the division.

B. General well development requirements:

1. Water used in well construction shall be from a satisfactory water source or from the well under construction.

2. Casing and liner pipe:

a. Shall be metallic pipe meeting ASTM, ANSI, AWWA or API specifications and standards applicable to wells. Dimensions shall conform to the following table:

STEEL PIPES

SIZE (inches

DIAMETER (inches)

THICKNESS (inches)

WEIGHT PER FOOT (pounds)

External Internal

Plain Ends

With Threads and Couplings

4 id

4.5

4.026

0.237

10.79

11.0 :

6 id

6.625

6.065

0.280

18.97

19.18 :

8

8.625

7.981

0.322

28.55

29.35 :

10

10.750

10.020

0.365

40.48

41.85

12

12.750

12.000

0.375

49.56

51.15

14 od

14.000

13.250

0.375

54.57

57.00

16

16.000

15.250

0.375

62.58

65.30

18

18.000

17.250

0.375

70.59

73.00

20

20.000

19.250

0.375

78.60

81.00 :

22

22.000

21.000

0.500

114.81

24

24.000

23.000

0.500

125.49

26

26.000

25.000

0.500

136.17

28

28.000

27.000

0.500

146.85

30

30.000

29.000

0.500

157.53

32

32.000

31.000

0.500

168.21

34

34.000

33.000

0.500

178.89

36

36.000

35.000

0.500

189.57

b. Plastic pipes may be approved following investigation by the division. The casing shall be PVC type 1120 (cell identification 12454), NSF approved for well casings meeting appropriate ASTM, ANSI, AWWA or API specifications and used to depths in conformance with the information contained in the following tables:

Maximum Allowable Depths of Installation

of

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Thermoplastic

Water Well Casing

Type 1120 (12454)

Schedule

Number

Nominal Diameter of PVC 1120

2

2.5

3

3.5

4

5

6

8

10

40-

560'

740'

485'

265'

291'

19-

143'

99'

74'

80-

1750'

2040'

1380'

1085'

912'

64-

395'

400'

340'

SDR No.

All Diameters of PVC 1120

SDR 41

25

SDR 32.5

50'

SDR 26

108'

SDR 21

212'

SDR 17

413

SDR 13.5

868'

c. Heavy weight casing pipe may be required under certain geologic and hydrostatic conditions; and

d. Where corrosive conditions exist, materials such as coated casings, stainless steel, bronze, or plastic may be used as casings or linings subject to approval by the division.

3. Packers or other well construction materials shall be of a material that will not impart taste, odors, toxic substances, or bacterial contamination to the water in the well. No lead is to be used in packers, flux, piping, etc.

4. Screens, where required, shall:

a. Be constructed of material which will not be damaged by chemical action of groundwater or future cleaning operations;

b. Have size of openings to be based on sieve analysis and should be adequate to pass flows at a velocity of 0.1 foot per second or less; and

c. Be installed so that exposure above the pumping level will not occur.

5. A water well completion report shall:

a. Be submitted to the division, the State Water Control Board and the owner; and

b. Provide all data requested on the most recent well completion form.

6. The yield and drawdown test data over a 48-hour minimum period shall be provided; however, in those areas where geologic conditions warrant, the required test period may be varied by the division.

7. Chemical conditioning shall be included in specifications as to method, equipment, chemicals, testing for residual chemicals, disposal of waste, and inhibitors used.

8. Grouting requirements.

a. Neat cement grout is normally required and shall consist of cement (API Spec. 10, Class G cement or Class B similar to ASTM C150 TYPE II) and water with not more than six gallons of water per 94-pound sack of cement, and shall be in place within 48 hours of well construction. A maximum of 6.0%, by weight, bentonite and 2.0%, by weight, calcium chloride, may be added. NOTE: When exceptional conditions require the use of a less fluid grout to bridge voids, a mixture of cement (ASTM C150 TYPE II), sand and water in the proportion of not more than two parts by weight of sand to one part of cement with not more than six gallons of clean water per 94 pound sack of cement may be used if approved by the division;

b. Application.

(1) Grout shall be installed by means of continuous pressure grouting from the bottom of the annular opening upward in one continuous operation until the annular opening is filled.

(2) Sufficient annular opening shall be provided to permit a minimum of 1 ½ inches of grout around the protective casing, including couplings, if used.

(3) Prior to grouting, bentonite, Aquagel, or similar approved materials may be added to the annular opening, in the manner indicated for grouting; and

c. Protective casing shall be provided with sufficient centralizers attached to the casing to permit unobstructed flow and uniform thickness of the grout.

9. Plumbness and alignment:

a. Every well shall be tested for plumbness and alignment;

b. The test method shall be clearly stated in specifications; and

c. Excessive kinks and bends shall not be acceptable.

10. Watertight welded metal plates, set screw caps, or screw-on caps are acceptable for temporarily capping a well until the pumping equipment is installed.

11. Bacteriological quality:

a. Every new, modified, or reconditioned groundwater source shall be disinfected after placement of the final pumping equipment; and

b. A series of nine consecutive negative samples for bacteriological examination or a series of 20 or more samples for most probable number (MPN) examination is required.

12. Samples for chemical, physical and radiological analyses shall be submitted on every new, modified, or reconditioned well. The sample must be collected near the end of the pumping test and after the well water has cleared.

13. Observation wells:

a. Shall be constructed in accordance with the requirements for permanent wells if they are to remain in service after completion of the groundwater study; and

b. Shall be protected at the upper terminal to preclude entrance of contamination.

14. Well abandonment:

a. Observation wells and groundwater sources which are not in use shall be sealed by methods which will restore the controlling geological conditions which existed before they were constructed;

b. Temporary abandonment.

(1) Any water well temporarily removed from service, or completed but not put into service, shall be sealed with a watertight cap or well-head seal.

(2) Such well shall be so maintained that it will not be a source or channel of contamination during temporary abandonment; and

c. Permanent abandonment.

(1) All casing and screen materials may be salvaged.

(2) The well shall be checked from land surface to the entire depth of the well before it is plugged to ascertain freedom from obstructions that may interfere with plugging (sealing) operations.

(3) The well shall be thoroughly chlorinated prior to plugging (sealing).

(4) Bored wells shall be completely filled with cement grout or dry clay compacted in place.

(5) Wells constructed in unconsolidated formations shall be completely filled with cement grout or clay slurry by introduction through a pipe initially extending to the bottom of the well. Such pipe shall be raised, but remain submerged in grout, as the well is filled.

(6) Wells constructed in consolidated rock formations or which penetrate zones of consolidated rock may be filled with sand or gravel opposite the zones of consolidated rock. The top of the sand or gravel fill shall be at least five feet below the top of the consolidated rock. The remainder of the well shall be filled with sand-cement grout only.

15. All zones containing water of undesirable quality or zones to be protected but excluded from final well completion shall be grouted from a point at least five feet above the zone to a point at least five feet below the zone.

C. Special requirements for various groundwater sources:

1. Gravel packed wells:

a. The gravel utilized shall be free of foreign material, properly sized, washed, and then disinfected prior to or during placement;

b. The gravel refill pipes, when used, shall be incorporated within the pump foundation or concrete apron and terminated with screwed or welded caps at least 12 inches above the pumphouse floor or concrete apron;

c. Gravel refill pipes in the grouted annular opening shall be surrounded by a minimum of 1 ½ inches of grout.

d. Means for the prevention of leakage of grout into the gravel pack of the screen shall be provided; and

e. The minimum protective casing and grouted depth shall be acceptable to the division.

2. Radial water collectors will be considered on an individual basis by the division.

3. Multiple aquifer wells. The annular space between producing aquifers should be grouted to prevent the mixing of waters of different qualities (see subdivision B 15). An approved bentonite material specifically manufactured as a grout may be considered.

4. Flowing artesian wells will be considered on an individual basis by the division.

5. Springs:

a. Springs may be considered only when it is not possible to develop an acceptable well or other source;

b. Springs may be approved only after an extensive sanitary survey and bacteriological, turbidity, chemical, and flow data over a time period sufficient to establish year-round quality and quantity. The amount of land required for protection of the spring shall be determined by the division on a case-by-case basis;

c. Springs shall be considered as surface water sources if they are influenced by surface conditions. Indicators of such influence include turbidity, bacteriological, and chemical quality that varies with surface conditions;

d. Springs shall be protected from entry of surface water;

e. Springs shall be housed in a permanent structure; and

f. Springs shall be continuously chlorinated.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-170 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-18-008.03 § 3.21, eff. August 1, 1991; amended, Volume 09, Issue 17, eff. June 23, 1993.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.