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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department Of Health
Chapter 630. Private Well Regulations
12/3/2020

12VAC5-630-380. Well location.

A. Sanitary survey. Any obvious source of toxic or dangerous substances within 200 feet of the proposed private well shall be investigated as part of the sanitary survey by the district or local health department. Sources of contamination may include, but are not limited to, items listed in Table 3.1, abandoned wells, pesticide treated soils, underground storage tanks, and other sources of physical, chemical or biological contamination. If the source of contamination could affect the well adversely, and preventive measures are not available to protect the ground water, the well shall be prohibited. The minimum separation distance between a private well and structures, topographic features, or sources of pollution shall comply with the minimum distances shown in Table 3.1. Where the minimum separation distances for a Class IV well cannot be met, a permit may be issued under this chapter for a well meeting all of the criteria in 12VAC5-630-400 and 12VAC5-630-410 and the separation distance requirements for either a Class IIIA or IIIB well, without deviation, and such Class IV well shall not be required to meet the water quality requirements of 12VAC5-630-370.

TABLE 3.1 DISTANCES (IN FEET) BETWEEN A WELL AND A STRUCTURE OR TOPOGRAPHIC FEATURE

Structure or Topographic Feature

Class IIIC or IV

Class IIIA or B

Building foundation

10

10

Building foundation (termite treated)

501

501

House sewer line

502

502

Sewer main, including force mains

503

503

Sewerage system

50

50

Pretreatment system (e.g. septic tank, aerobic unit, etc.)

50

50

Sewage disposal system or other contaminant source (e.g., drainfield, underground storage tank, barnyard, hog lot, etc.)

100

50

Cemetery

100

50

Sewage Dump Station

100

501

1See 12VAC5-630-380

2Private wells shall not be constructed within 50 feet of a house sewer line except as provided below. Where special construction and pipe materials are used in a house sewer line to provide adequate protection, and the well is cased and grouted to the water bearing formation, all classes of private wells may be placed as close as 10 feet to the house sewer line. Special construction for house sewer lines constitutes cast iron pipe with water-tight caulked joints or mechanical joints using neoprene gaskets, or solvent welded Schedule 40 or better polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide documentation from the contractor that such construction and pipe materials have been installed. In no case shall a private well be placed within 10 feet of a house sewer line.

3Private wells shall not be constructed within 50 feet of a sewer main except as provided below. Where special construction and pipe materials are used in a sewer main to provide adequate protection, and the well is cased and grouted to the water bearing formation, Class III wells may be placed as close as 35 feet to a sewer main and Class IV wells as close as 10 feet. Special construction for sewer mains constitutes ductile iron pipe with water-tight joints, solvent welded Schedule 40 or better polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe (SDR-35 plastic PVC with neoprene gaskets). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide documentation from the local building official or sanitary district that such construction and pipe materials have been installed. In no case shall a Class III well be place within 35 feet of a sewer main. Likewise, in no case shall a Class IV well be placed within 10 feet of a sewer main.

B. Downslope siting of wells from potential sources of pollution. Special precaution shall be taken when locating a well within a 60 degree arc directly downslope from any part of any existing or intended onsite sewage disposal system or other known source of pollution, including, but not limited to, buildings subject to termite or vermin treatment, or used to store polluting substances or storage tanks or storage areas for petroleum products or other deleterious substances. The minimum separation distance shall be: (i) increased by 25 feet for every 5.0% of slope; or (ii) an increase shall be made to the minimum depth of grout and casing in the amount of five feet for every 5.0% of slope.

C. Sites in swampy areas, low areas, or areas subject to flooding. No private well covered by this chapter shall be located in areas subject to the collection of pollutants such as swampy areas, low areas, or areas subject to flooding. Wells located in flood plains shall be adequately constructed so as to preclude the entrance of surface water during flood conditions. At a minimum, such construction will include extending the well terminus 18 inches above the annual flood level. Other requirements may be made as determined on a case by case basis by the division.

D. Property lines. There is no minimum separation distance between a private well and a property line established by this chapter. The owner is responsible for establishing a separation distance from property lines such that the construction and location of the well will be on the owner's property and comply with any local ordinances.

E. Utility lines. There is no minimum separation distance between a private well and utility lines (electric, gas, water, cable, etc.). The minimum separation distance may, however, be established by the individual utility company or local ordinance.

F. Pesticide and termite treatment. No Class III private well shall be placed closer than 50 feet from a building foundation that has been chemically treated with any termiticide or other pesticide. No Class IV private well shall be placed closer than 50 feet to a building foundation that has been chemically treated with any termiticide or other pesticide except as provided below. Further, no termiticides or other pesticides shall be applied within five feet of an open water supply trench. A Class IV well may be placed as close as 10 feet to a chemically treated foundation if the following criteria are met:

1. The aquifer from which the water is withdrawn must be a confined aquifer (i.e., there must be an impermeable stratum overlying the water bearing formation).

2. The well must be cased and grouted a minimum of 20 feet or into the first confining layer between the ground surface and the water bearing formation from which water is withdrawn, whichever is greater. When the first confining layer is encountered at a depth greater than 20 feet, the well shall be cased and grouted to the first confining layer between the ground surface and the water bearing formation from which water is withdrawn.

3. The material overlaying the confined aquifer must be collapsing material.

G. Exception for closed-loop ground-source heat pump wells. Closed-loop ground-source heat pump wells, depending upon construction, may not have to comply with the minimum separation distances for Class IV wells listed in Table 3.1. If the well is grouted 20 feet, the minimum separation distances must comply with those listed for Class IV wells. If the well is grouted a minimum of 50 feet, the separation distances shall be those listed for Class IIIA or IIIB wells. If the well is grouted the entire depth of the well, the well does not have to comply with the minimum separation distances contained in Table 3.1.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-176 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-100 § 3.4, eff. April 1, 1992.

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