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 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 610. Groundwater Withdrawal Regulations
1/25/2020

9VAC25-610-106. Supplemental Drought Relief Wells.

A. Public water supplies wishing to withdraw groundwater for human consumption during periods of drought through the use of supplemental drought relief wells in any groundwater management area and not excluded from requirements of this chapter by 9VAC25-610-50 shall apply for a permit.

B. A groundwater withdrawal permit application shall be completed and submitted to the board and a groundwater withdrawal permit issued by the board prior to the initiation of any withdrawal not specifically excluded in 9VAC25-610-50.

C. A complete groundwater withdrawal permit application for supplemental drought relief wells shall contain the following:

1. The permit fee as required by the Fees for Permits and Certificates Regulations (9VAC25-20);

2. A groundwater withdrawal permit application completed in its entirety with all maps, attachments, and addenda that may be required. Application forms shall be submitted in a format specified by the board. Such application forms are available from the Department of Environmental Quality;

3. A signature as described in 9VAC25-610-150;

4. Well construction documentation for all wells associated with the application submitted on the Water Well Completion Report, Form GW2, which includes the following information:

a. The depth of the well;

b. The diameter, top and bottom, and material of each cased interval;

c. The diameter, top and bottom, for each screened interval; and

d. The depth of pump intake.

5. The application shall include locations of all wells associated with the application shown on United States Geological Survey 7-1/2 minute topographic maps. The applicant shall provide the latitude and longitude coordinates in a datum specified by the department for each existing and proposed well. The detailed location map shall be of sufficient detail such that all wells may be easily located for site inspection;

6. A map identifying the service areas for public water supplies;

7. Information on surface water and groundwater conjunctive use systems as described in 9VAC25-610-104 if applicable;

8. A water conservation and management plan as described in 9VAC25-610-100;

9. The application shall include notification from the local governing body in which the withdrawal is to occur that the location and operation of the withdrawing facility is in compliance with all ordinances adopted pursuant to Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 15.2 of the Code of Virginia. If the governing body fails to respond to the applicant's request for certification within 45 days of receipt of the written request, the location and operation of the proposed facility shall be deemed to comply with the provisions of such ordinances for the purposes of this chapter. The applicant shall document the local governing body's receipt of the request for certification through the use of certified mail or other means that establishes proof of delivery;

10. A plan to mitigate potential adverse impacts from the proposed withdrawal on existing groundwater users. In lieu of developing individual mitigation plans, multiple applicants may choose to establish a mitigation program to collectively develop and implement a cooperative mitigation plan that covers the entire area of impact of all members of the mitigation program;

11. Documentation on the maximum amount of groundwater needed annually to meet human consumption needs; and

12. Other relevant information that may be required by the board to evaluate the application.

D. Permits issued by the board for groundwater withdrawals from supplemental drought relief wells shall include the following permit conditions:

1. Permits shall include a maximum amount of groundwater allowed to be withdrawn over the term of the permit.

2. The permit shall specify an annual limit on the amount of groundwater to be withdrawn based on the amount of groundwater needed annually to meet human consumption needs. Groundwater withdrawals from supplemental drought relief wells shall be subject to monthly groundwater withdrawal limits.

3. Permits shall specify that groundwater withdrawn from supplemental drought relief wells shall be used to meet human consumption needs.

4. Permits shall specify that groundwater shall only be withdrawn from supplemental drought relief wells after mandatory water restrictions have been implemented pursuant to approved water conservation and management plans as required by § 62.1-265 of the Code of Virginia.

5. A permit shall contain the total depth of each permitted well in feet.

6. A permit shall specify the screened intervals of wells authorized for use by the permit.

7. A permit shall contain the designation of the aquifers to be utilized.

8. A permit may contain conditions limiting the withdrawal amount of a single well or a group of wells within a withdrawal system to a quantity specified by the board.

9. A groundwater withdrawal permit for a public water supply shall contain a condition allowing daily withdrawals at a level consistent with the requirements and conditions contained in the waterworks operation permit, or equivalent, issued by the Virginia Department of Health. This requirement shall not limit the authority of the board to reduce or eliminate groundwater withdrawals by public water suppliers if necessary to protect human health or the environment.

10. The permit shall state that no pumps or water intake devices are to be placed lower than the top of the uppermost confined aquifer that a well utilizes as a groundwater source or lower than the bottom of an unconfined aquifer that a well utilizes as a groundwater source in order to prevent dewatering of a confined aquifer, loss of inelastic storage, or damage to the aquifer from compaction.

11. All permits shall specify monitoring requirements as conditions of the permit.

a. Permitted users shall install in-line totalizing flow meters to read gallons, cubic feet, or cubic meters on each permitted well prior to beginning the permitted use. Such meters shall produce volume determinations within plus or minus 10% of actual flows. A defective meter or other device must be repaired or replaced within 30 days. A defective meter is not grounds for not reporting withdrawals. During any period when a meter is defective, generally accepted engineering methods shall be used to estimate withdrawals and the period during which the meter was defective must be clearly identified in groundwater withdrawal reports. An alternative method for determining flow may be approved by the board on a case-by-case basis.

b. Permits shall contain requirements concerning the proper use, maintenance, and installation, when appropriate, of monitoring equipment or methods when required as a condition of the permit.

c. Permits shall contain required monitoring including type, intervals, and frequency sufficient to yield data that are representative of the monitored activity and including, when appropriate, continuous monitoring and sampling.

d. Each permitted well shall be equipped in a manner such that water levels can be measured during pumping and nonpumping periods without dismantling any equipment. Any opening for tape measurement of water levels shall have an inside diameter of at least 0.5 inches and be sealed by a removable plug or cap. The permittee shall provide a tap for taking raw water samples from each permitted well.

12. All permits shall prohibit withdrawals from wells not authorized in the permit.

13. All permits shall include requirements to report the amount of water withdrawn from each permitted well or well system on forms provided by the board with a frequency dependent on the nature and effect of the withdrawal, but in no case less than once per year.

14. Groundwater withdrawal permits issued under this chapter shall have an effective and expiration date that will determine the life of the permit. Groundwater withdrawal permits shall be effective for a fixed term not to exceed 15 years. Permit duration of less than the maximum period of time may be recommended in areas where hydrologic conditions are changing or are not adequately known. The term of any permit shall not be extended by modification beyond the maximum duration. Extension of permits for the same activity beyond the maximum duration specified in the original permit will require reapplication and issuance of a new permit.

15. Each permit shall have a condition allowing the reopening of the permit for the purpose of modifying the conditions of the permit to meet new regulatory standards duly adopted by the board.

16. Each well that is included in a groundwater withdrawal permit shall have affixed to the well casing, in a prominent place, a permanent well identification plate that records the Department of Environmental Quality well identification number, the groundwater withdrawal permit number, the total depth of the well, and the screened intervals in the well, at a minimum. Such well identification plates shall be in a format specified by the board and are available from the Department of Environmental Quality.

E. The permit shall address variations in the groundwater withdrawal amounts that may occur.

F. In addition to the permit conditions listed in subsection D of this section, the board may issue any permit with terms, conditions, or limitations necessary to protect the public welfare, safety, and health, or to protect the resource.

G. The board shall evaluate the application for supplemental drought relief wells based on the following criteria:

1. The applicant demonstrates that no pumps or water intake devices are placed lower than the top of the uppermost confined aquifer that a well utilizes as a groundwater source or lower than the bottom of an unconfined aquifer that a well utilizes as a groundwater source in order to prevent dewatering of a confined aquifer, loss of inelastic storage, or damage to the aquifer from compaction.

2. The applicant demonstrates that the amount of groundwater withdrawal requested is the smallest amount of withdrawal necessary to support human consumption when mandatory water use restrictions have been implemented.

3. The applicant provides a water conservation and management plan as described in 9VAC25-610-100 and implements the plan as an enforceable condition of the groundwater withdrawal permit.

4. The applicant provides certification by the local governing body that the location and operation of the withdrawing facility is in compliance with all ordinances adopted pursuant to Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 15.2 of the Code of Virginia.

5. The board's technical evaluation demonstrates that the area of impact of the proposed withdrawal will remain on property owned by the applicant or that there are no existing groundwater withdrawers within the area of impact of the proposed withdrawal.

In cases where the area of impact does not remain on the property owned by the applicant or existing groundwater withdrawers will be included in the area of impact, the applicant shall provide and implement a plan to mitigate all adverse impacts on existing groundwater users. Approvable mitigation plans shall, at a minimum, contain the following features and implementation of the mitigation plan shall be included as enforceable permit conditions:

a. The rebuttable presumption that water level declines that cause adverse impacts to existing wells within the area of impact are due to the proposed withdrawal;

b. A commitment by the applicant to mitigate undisputed adverse impacts due to the proposed withdrawal in a timely fashion;

c. A speedy, nonexclusive, low-cost process to fairly resolve disputed claims for mitigation between the applicant and any claimant; and

d. The requirement that the claimant provide documentation that he is the owner of the well; documentation that the well was constructed and operated prior to the initiation of the applicant's withdrawal; the depth of the well, the pump, and screens, and any other construction information that the claimant possesses; the location of the well with enough specificity that it can be located in the field; the historic yield of the well, if available; historic water levels for the well, if available; and the reasons the claimant believes that the applicant's withdrawals have caused an adverse impact on the well.

6. The board conducts a technical evaluation of the effects of the proposed withdrawal with the stabilized cumulative effects of all existing lawful withdrawals to identify if the withdrawal will lower water levels in any confined aquifer below a point that represents 80% of the distance between the land surface and the top of the aquifer.

7. The board's technical evaluation demonstrates that the proposed groundwater withdrawal will not result in salt water intrusion or the movement of waters of lower quality to areas where such movement would result in adverse impacts on existing groundwater users or the groundwater resource. This provision shall not exclude the withdrawal of brackish water provided that the proposed withdrawal will not result in unmitigated adverse impacts.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-256 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 30, Issue 05, eff. January 1, 2014; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 04, eff. November 14, 2018.

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.