Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
7/2/2022

Part I. General

9VAC25-610-10. Definitions.

Unless a different meaning is required by the context, the following terms as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

"Act" means the Ground Water Management Act of 1992, Chapter 25 (§ 62.1-254 et seq.) of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Adverse impact" means reductions in groundwater levels or changes in groundwater quality that limit the ability of any existing groundwater user lawfully withdrawing or authorized to withdraw groundwater at the time of permit or special exception issuance to continue to withdraw the quantity and quality of groundwater required by the existing use. Existing groundwater users include all those persons who have been granted a groundwater withdrawal permit subject to this chapter and all other persons who are excluded from permit requirements by 9VAC25-610-50.

"Agricultural use" means utilizing groundwater for the purpose of agricultural, silvicultural, horticultural, or aquacultural operations. Agricultural use includes withdrawals for turf farm operations, but does not include withdrawals for landscaping activities or turf installment and maintenance associated with landscaping activities.

"Applicant" means a person filing an application to initiate or enlarge a groundwater withdrawal in a groundwater management area.

"Area of impact" means the areal extent of each aquifer where more than one foot of drawdown is predicted to occur due to a proposed withdrawal.

"Beneficial use" includes domestic (including public water supply), agricultural, commercial, and industrial uses.

"Board" means the State Water Control Board.

"Consumptive use" means the withdrawal of groundwater, without recycle of said waters to their source of origin.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Draft permit" means a prepared document indicating the board's tentative decision relative to a permit action.

"Geophysical investigation" means any hydrogeologic evaluation to define the hydrogeologic framework of an area or determine the hydrogeologic properties of any aquifer or confining unit to the extent that withdrawals associated with such investigations do not result in unmitigated adverse impacts to existing groundwater users. Geophysical investigations include pump tests and aquifer tests.

"Groundwater" means any water, except capillary moisture, beneath the land surface in the zone of saturation or beneath the bed of any stream, lake, reservoir, or other body of surface water wholly or partially within the boundaries of this Commonwealth, whatever the subsurface geologic structure in which such water stands, flows, percolates, or otherwise occurs.

"Human consumption" means the use of water to support human survival and health, including drinking, bathing, showering, cooking, dishwashing, and maintaining hygiene.

"Mitigate" means to take actions necessary to assure that all existing groundwater users at the time of issuance of a permit or special exception who experience adverse impacts continue to have access to the amount and quality of groundwater needed for existing uses.

"Permit" means a groundwater withdrawal permit issued under the Ground Water Management Act of 1992 permitting the withdrawal of a specified quantity of groundwater under specified conditions in a groundwater management area.

"Permittee" means a person that currently has an effective groundwater withdrawal permit issued under the Ground Water Act of 1992.

"Person" means any and all persons, including individuals, firms, partnerships, associations, public or private institutions, municipalities or political subdivisions, governmental agencies, or private or public corporations organized under the laws of this Commonwealth or any other state or country.

"Practicable" means available and capable of being done after taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes.

"Private well" means, as defined in § 32.1-176.3 of the Code of Virginia, any water well constructed for a person on land that is owned or leased by that person and is usually intended for household, groundwater source heat pump, agricultural use, industrial use, or other nonpublic water well.

"Public hearing" means a fact finding proceeding held to afford interested persons an opportunity to submit factual data, views, and comments to the board pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:02 of the Code of Virginia.

"Salt water intrusion" means the encroachment of saline waters in any aquifer that creates adverse impacts to existing groundwater users or is counter to the public interest.

"Special exception" means a document issued by the board for withdrawal of groundwater in unusual situations where requiring the user to obtain a groundwater withdrawal permit would be contrary to the purpose of the Ground Water Management Act of 1992. Special exceptions allow the withdrawal of a specified quantity of groundwater under specified conditions in a groundwater management area.

"Supplemental drought relief well" means a well permitted to withdraw a specified amount of groundwater to meet human consumption needs during declared drought conditions after mandatory water use restrictions have been implemented.

"Surface water and groundwater conjunctive use system" means an integrated water supply system wherein surface water is the primary source and groundwater is a supplemental source that is used to augment the surface water source when the surface water source is not able to produce the amount of water necessary to support the annual water demands of the system.

"Surficial aquifer" means the upper surface of a zone of saturation, where the body of groundwater is not confined by an overlying impermeable zone.

"Water well systems provider" means any individual who is certified by the Board for Contractors in accordance with § 54.1-1128 et seq. of the Code of Virginia and who is engaged in drilling, installation, maintenance, or repair of water wells, water well pumps, ground source heat exchangers, and other equipment associated with the construction, removal, or repair of water wells, water well systems, and ground source heat pump exchangers to the point of connection to the ground source heat pump.

"Well" means any artificial opening or artificially altered natural opening, however made, by which groundwater is sought or through which groundwater flows under natural pressure or is intended to be withdrawn.

"Withdrawal system" means (i) one or more wells or withdrawal points located on the same or contiguous properties under common ownership for which the withdrawal is applied to the same beneficial use or (ii) two or more connected wells or withdrawal points which are under common ownership but are not necessarily located on contiguous properties.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-256 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-13-07 § 1.1, eff. September 22, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1999; Volume 30, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2014; Volume 32, Issue 25, eff. September 22, 2016; Volume 35, Issue 4, eff. November 14, 2018.

9VAC25-610-20. Purpose.

The Ground Water Management Act of 1992 recognizes and declares that the right to reasonable control of all groundwater resources within the Commonwealth belongs to the public and that in order to conserve, protect and beneficially utilize the groundwater resource and to ensure the public welfare, safety and health, provisions for management and control of groundwater resources are essential. This chapter delineates the procedures and requirements to be followed when establishing groundwater management areas and the issuance of groundwater withdrawal permits by the board pursuant to the Ground Water Management Act of 1992.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-256 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-13-07 § 1.2, eff. September 22, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2014.

9VAC25-610-30. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-13-07 § 1.3, eff. September 22, 1993; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1999.

9VAC25-610-40. Prohibitions and requirements for groundwater withdrawals.

A. No person shall withdraw, attempt to withdraw, or allow the withdrawal of groundwater within a groundwater management area, except as authorized pursuant to a groundwater withdrawal permit, or as excluded in 9VAC25-610-50.

B. No permit or special exception shall be issued for more groundwater than can be applied to the proposed beneficial use.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-256 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-13-07 § 1.4, eff. September 22, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2014.

9VAC25-610-42. Private well registration.

A. Each certified water well systems provider shall register with the board each private well, as defined in 9VAC25-610-10, that is constructed in a groundwater management area after September 22, 2016.

B. The registration shall be made within 30 calendar days of the completion of well construction.

C. Such registration shall be submitted to the department on a form, paper or electronic, provided by the department for registration purposes.

D. The following information, at a minimum, shall be required for each registration:

1. Contact information, including:

a. The well owner's name and mailing address; and

b. The certified water well system provider's name and mailing address.

2. The well location, including:

a. The physical address, tax map number, or grid parcel identification number (GPIN) of the property at which the well is located;

b. The subdivision name and appropriate section, block and lot numbers, if applicable; and

c. The latitude, longitude, and datum of the well.

3. The type of use of the well water.

4. Well construction information, including:

a. The well designation name or number;

b. The start and completion dates of well construction;

c. The depth of the well and borehole depth;

d. Borehole sizes;

e. Height of casing above the land surface, if applicable;

f. Size, depth, and material weight per foot or wall thickness of the casing, if applicable;

g. Size, type, and mesh of the screen or water zones, if applicable; and

h. The type of grout, grouting method, and type of seal, if applicable.

5. If a pump test is conducted, the pump test information, including:

a. Date and duration of test;

b. Pre-pumped static water level; and

c. Stabilized measured pumping level and yield.

6. Production pump intake depth, if applicable.

7. Drillers log.

8. The certified water well system provider's certification statement.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-256 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 25, eff. September 22, 2016.

9VAC25-610-44. Technical evaluation of withdrawals for subdivisions with 30 or more lots served by private wells.

A. On or after July 1, 2018, the developer of a subdivision, as defined in § 15.2-2201 of the Code of Virginia, located in a groundwater management area, shall apply for a technical evaluation from the department prior to final subdivision plat approval if there will be 30 or more lots within the subdivision served by private wells, as defined in § 32.1-176.3 of the Code of Virginia. This requirement shall not apply to the developer of a subdivision who constructs all of the private wells within the subdivision in the surficial aquifer.

B. The application for a technical evaluation shall be on a form established by the department and shall include a geophysical log from a geophysical borehole located within the subdivision. Such borehole may subsequently be utilized as a groundwater supply for a dwelling unit or for other appropriate purpose within the subdivision.

C. Within 60 days of receiving a complete application for a technical evaluation, the department shall perform a technical evaluation and provide to the developer a recommendation sufficient to serve the water needs of each dwelling unit in the subdivision that specifies the aquifers that will minimize unmitigated impacts to groundwater resources and any offsite impacts to existing groundwater users.

D. The recommendation to the developer shall be nonbinding; however, any such developer who constructs one or more private wells in the subdivision in an aquifer inconsistent with the department's recommendation shall prepare and submit a mitigation plan to the department, consistent with requirements for mitigation plans established by the board, and record a mitigation plan approved by the department with the subdivision plat prior to constructing any private wells within the subdivision.

E. The department shall charge the developer a fee not to exceed $5,000 to recover the cost of performing the technical evaluation. The fee shall be paid prior to the department providing the developer with the recommendation of the technical evaluation.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-256 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 4, eff. November 14, 2018.

9VAC25-610-50. Exclusions.

The following do not require a groundwater withdrawal permit:

1. Withdrawals of less than 300,000 gallons per month;

2. Withdrawals associated with temporary construction dewatering that do not exceed 24 months in duration;

3. Withdrawals associated with a state-approved groundwater remediation that do not exceed 60 months in duration;

4. Withdrawals for use by a groundwater source heat pump where the discharge is reinjected into the aquifer from which it was withdrawn;

5. Withdrawals from ponds recharged by groundwater without mechanical assistance;

6. Withdrawals for the purpose of conducting geophysical investigations, including pump tests;

7. Withdrawals coincident with exploration for and extraction of coal or activities associated with coal mining regulated by the Department of Energy;

8. Withdrawals coincident with the exploration for or production of oil, gas or other minerals other than coal, unless such withdrawal adversely impacts aquifer quantity or quality or other groundwater users within a groundwater management area;

9. Withdrawals in any area not declared to be a groundwater management area;

10. Withdrawal of groundwater authorized pursuant to a special exception issued by the board; and

11. Withdrawal of groundwater discharged from free flowing springs where the natural flow of the spring has not been increased by any method.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-256 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-13-07 § 1.5, eff. September 22, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2014; Volume 38, Issue 3, eff. October 27, 2021.

9VAC25-610-60. Effect of a permit.

A. Compliance with a groundwater withdrawal permit constitutes compliance with the permit requirements of the Ground Water Management Act of 1992.

B. The issuance of a permit does not convey any property rights in either real or personal property, or any exclusive privileges, nor does it authorize injury to private property or any invasion of personal rights or any infringement of federal, state or local law or regulation.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-256 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-13-07 § 1.6, eff. September 22, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2014.

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