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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 610. Groundwater Withdrawal Regulations
1/29/2020

9VAC25-610-140. Establishing Applicable Standards, Limitations or Other Permit Conditions.

A. In addition to the conditions established in 9VAC25-610-100, 9VAC25-610-110, 9VAC25-610-120, and 9VAC25-610-130, each permit shall include conditions with the following requirements:

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

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

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

4. A permit shall contain conditions limiting the withdrawal amount of a single well or a group of wells that comprise a withdrawal system to a quantity specified by the board. A permit shall contain a maximum annual withdrawal and a maximum monthly groundwater withdrawal limit;

5. 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;

6. 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.

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

a. Permitted users who are issued groundwater withdrawal permits based on 9VAC25-610-110 B 3 and C 2 shall install either in-line totalizing flow meters or hour meters that record the hours of operation of withdrawal pumps on each permitted well prior to beginning the permitted use. Flow meters shall produce volume determinations within plus or minus 10% of actual flows. Hour meters shall produce run times within plus or minus 10% of actual run times. Hour meter readings will be multiplied by the maximum capacity of the withdrawal pump to determine withdrawal amounts. 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. Permitted users who are issued groundwater withdrawal permits based on any section of this chapter not included in subdivision 7 a of this subsection 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.

c. 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.

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

e. 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.

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

9. All permits shall include requirements to report the amount of water withdrawn from each permitted well and 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.

10. Groundwater withdrawal permits issued under this chapter shall have an effective and expiration date which 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

B. In addition to the conditions established in 9VAC25-610-100, 9VAC25-610-110, 9VAC25-610-120, 9VAC25-610-130, and subsection A of this section, each permit may include conditions with the following requirements where applicable:

1. A withdrawal limit may be placed on one or more of the wells that constitute a withdrawal system;

2. A permit may contain quarterly, monthly, or daily withdrawal limits or withdrawal limits based on any other frequency as determined by the board;

3. A permit may contain conditions requiring water quality and water levels monitoring at specified intervals in any wells deemed appropriate by the board;

4. A permit may contain conditions specifying water levels and water quality action levels in pumping and observation/monitoring wells to protect against or mitigate water quality levels or aquifer degradation. The board may require permitted users to initiate control measures which include the following:

a. Pumping arrangements to reduce groundwater withdrawal in areas of concentrated pumping;

b. Location of wells to eliminate or reduce groundwater withdrawals near saltwater-freshwater interfaces;

c. Requirement of selective withdrawal from other available aquifers than those presently used or proposed;

d. Selective curtailment, reduction or cessation of groundwater withdrawals to protect the public welfare, safety, or health or to protect the resource;

e. Conjunctive use of freshwater and saltwater aquifers, or waters of less desirable quality where water quality of a specific character is not essential;

f. Construction and use of observation or monitoring wells;

g. Well construction techniques that prohibit the hydraulic connection of aquifers that contain different quality waters, such as gravel packing, that could result in deterioration of water quality in an aquifer; and

h. Such other necessary control or abatement techniques as are practicable to protect and beneficially utilize the groundwater resource.

5. A permit may contain conditions limiting water level declines in pumping wells and observation wells;

6. All permits may include requirements to report water quality and water level information 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; and

7. Permits shall require implementation of water conservation and management plans developed to comply with requirements of 9VAC25-610-100.

C. In addition to conditions described in 9VAC25-610-130 and subsections A and B of this section, the board may issue any groundwater withdrawal permit with any terms, conditions and limitations necessary to protect the public welfare, safety, and health or to protect the resource.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-256 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-13-07 § 3.6, eff. September 22, 1993; amended, Volume 15, Issue 05, eff. January 1, 1999; Volume 30, Issue 05, eff. January 1, 2014; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 04, eff. November 14, 2018.

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