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The Proper Location and Construction of a Residential Water Well Private Water Supply A Pennsylvania Perspective Mr. Brian Oram, PG Professional Geologist, PASEO, Licensed Well Driller Lab Director, Center for Environmental Quality Wilkes University

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private water supply a pennsylvania perspective

Private Water SupplyA Pennsylvania Perspective

Mr. Brian Oram, PG Professional Geologist, PASEO, Licensed Well Driller

Lab Director, Center for Environmental Quality

Wilkes University

GeoEnvironmental Sciences and Engineering Department

Wilkes Barre, PA 18766

http://www.water-research.net

New Website !

center for environmental quality
Center for Environmental Quality

Non-profit/ equal opportunity employer, is operated and

managed, within the GeoEnvironmental Sciences and

Environmental Engineering Department at Wilkes University

Outreach Programs

  • Environmental and Professional Education and Training
  • Applied Research
  • Community and Business Outreach Programs

Website: http://www.water-research.net

state and federal regulation
State and Federal Regulation
  • Currently No Federal Or Pennsylvania State Regulations Related to Private Water Well Construction.
  • Pennsylvania has over 1 million households on Private Wells.
    • Pennsylvania one of 4 states that has no private water well construction standards, via regulation.
    • PA does not really have a comprehensive certification program for drilling contractors and operators.
state regulations existing proposed
State Regulations (Existing/ Proposed)

Pennsylvania Has Drillers Licensing Programhttp://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/groundwater/act610.htm

Act 537: Chapter 73: Minimum Isolation Distance On-lot Septic System and Components and Private Well

House Bill 1591Proposed Legislation: Private Well Construction Regulationshttp://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/BT/2001/0/HB1591P2920.HTM

local agency
Local Agency

The Pennsylvania State Association of Township

Supervisors Surveyed second class townships across

the state regarding water well ordinances and water

well related problems. Of the 1,457 township

across the state:

  • 601 townships responded to the survey
  • 39 of 601 townships maintain water well construction ordinances
  • 21 townships were considering and ordinance
slide8

An Ungrouted

Residential Well

A Properly

Grouted Well

bedrock fractures and fractured zones
Bedrock Fractures and Fractured Zones

Higher Yielding Well

Fractured Zone

well isolation distances
Well IsolationDistances

MONTGOMERY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

INDIVIDUAL WATER SUPPLY WELL CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATIONS (partial listing)

Delineated wetlands or floodplains (25 feet)

Surface waters (25 feet) Storm water Systems (25 feet) Spray Irrigation/ Septage Disposal (100 feet)

Farm silos / manure storage (200 feet) Septic Systems (100 feet)

Septic Tanks/Holding Tanks (50 feet)

Chemical Storage/Preparation Area (300 feet)

More Information at http://www.h2otest.com/regs/pa/montgomery/

too close to the road
Too Close to the Road

Potential Problems1) Damaged Casing2) Chemical Spills3) Road Salting Agents

4) Chemical Sprays

5) Vandalism

slide13

Well Construction Options for Private Wells

Standard Well Cap Sanitary Well Cap

Allow entry for insects, small animals

Sealed to prevent contamination

why care about well construction
Why Care About Well Construction ?
  • Poor construction can affect drinking water quality
  • Poor construction can contribute, promote, and facilitate pollution and contamination of the groundwater aquifer
  • Proper construction can prolong the life and yield of the well
a properly constructed sanitary residential water well has
A Properly Constructed (Sanitary) Residential Water Well Has:
  • casing that extends at least 15 feet into firm bedrock or 40 feet below ground, whichever is greater
  • casing of adequate wall thickness (meet PADEP Requirements Community Water Supplies)
  • a drive shoe on the bottom of the casing
standard well cap the unsanitary well cap
Standard Well Cap “The Unsanitary Well Cap”
  • Insects, Larvae and Nests / Egg Masses
  • Mouse Colonies
  • Snakes
  • Beehives
  • Mud - when casing to close to ground

Types of Contamination - Bacteria, Subject to Vandalism, Salts

slide23

A Properly

Grouted Well

Tremie Pipe

a properly constructed sanitary residential water well has26
A Properly Constructed (Sanitary) Residential Water Well Has:
  • casing that extends at least 15 feet into firm bedrock or 40 feet below grade
  • casing of adequate wall thickness
  • a driveshoe on the bottom of the casing
  • grout sealing the casing up to the surface
  • a sealed well cap with a screened vent
  • a pitless adapter where the water line passes through the casing
protect your water source things you or your community can do
Periodically Inspect

Drain Surface Water Away

Install Sanitary Seal

Annual Testing

Maintain Records

Start a Community Based Groundwater Education Program

Carbon County Groundwater Guardianshttp://www.webdesignpros.net/groundwater

Proper Abandonment

Chemical Storage, Disposal and Use

Keep Wellhead Above Grade

Proper Well Location

Septic System Maintenance

Recycle used Oil and Participate in Hazardous Chemical Disposal Programs

Well Ordinance

Protect Your Water SourceThings You or Your Community Can Do
why an ordinance

Why an Ordinance?

Primary reasons for the ordinances included:

Improper Well Construction

Incidents of Well Contamination

Improper Siting

Interconnection with Contaminated Site

Induce Contamination – Lack of Grouting

No Testing Requirements to ensure potability

Overuse of the Groundwater Aquifer.

Online Directory of State Water Well Ordinanceshttp://www.epa.gov/R5water/ordcom/

before you drill get a well construction contract
Before You DrillGet a Well Construction Contract
  • Written contract with well driller prior to construction
  • Assurance of compliance with regulations
  • Liability insurance information for driller
  • Casing specifications (6" minimum to bedrock)
  • Sanitary cap, grout seal?
  • Well development to maximize yield
  • Disinfection after drilling and pump installation
  • Timeline for completion
  • Guarantee on materials and workmanship
  • Itemized estimate - check before exceeding costs
  • 8-12 hour pump test (sustained yield) and basic water test
  • Delivery of well log and pump test results to owner
private water supply a pennsylvania perspective30

Private Water SupplyA Pennsylvania Perspective

Mr. Brian Oram, PG Professional Geologist, PASEO, Licensed Well Driller

Lab Director, Center for Environmental Quality

Wilkes University

GeoEnvironmental Sciences and Engineering Department

Wilkes Barre, PA 18766

http://www.water-research.net

New Website !