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Private Wells An overview

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Spring 2008. MassDEP. Water Supplies ... Spring 2008. MassDEP. MassDEP regulates only public water supplies not private wells. ... Spring 2008. MassDEP ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Private Wells An overview


1
Private Wells An overview
  • Massachusetts Health Officers Association

2
Water Supplies (Wells) and Source Protection
  • Private water supply regulation
  • Local Boards of Health may require a well permit,
    setbacks and testing through Regulation. May
    include irrigation and geothermal wells
  • What impacts water quality and how do we TREAT
    water?
  • Naturally occurring constituents and human
    impacts
  • What impacts water quality and how do we PROTECT
    water?
  • Education and awareness, site design, BMPs and
    common sense

3
Private vs. Public Water Supplies
  • MassDEP regulates only public water supplies
    not private wells. Boards of Health regulate
    private wells
  • In Mass. 550,000 people drink from private
    wells protection of public water supplies often
    overlaps to protect private wells.

4
What is a public water system?
  • Serve ? 25 people/day for ? 60 days/year
  • Multiple wells on commonly owned property may be
    regulated as a PWS
  • Examples of types of public systems
  • Communities, mobile home parks, campgrounds,
    restaurants, schools, condominiums, groups
    (clusters) of homes, buildings or apartments,
    cafes, recreation areas and libraries, etc.

5
MassDEPs Role in Protecting Water including
private wells
  • Provide technical assistance to Boards of Health,
    Conservation Commissions and the public
  • Enforce other environmental regulations to
    protect waters of the Commonwealth
  • Provide technical expertise, loans/grants,
    workshops, educational materials, guidance
    documents

6
Types of Private Wells…
Spring boxes
Dug Wells
Drilled Wells
7
Good Springbox Designs
8
SHALLOW (Dug) Wells
  • You can find wells for old dwellings almost
    anywhere.
  • This dug well is in a basement.
  • Pretty sanitary?

WELL
9
Good Dug Well Design
Cap
Surface seal
3 Concrete Caisson
Polyethylene liner
Gasket seal
3 of Peastone
3 of Peastone
Intake screen
6 of Peastone
Native material Backfill
10
Bedrock well drilling rig
11
Drilled Wells (ROCK )
Cap
Casing
Grout (Sanitary Seal)
WATER LINE
Overburden deposits
100-600/-
Weathered rock
Water table
end of casing
Competent rock
Submersible pump/motor
12
Driven Well
Pump house Suction lift pump
Surface seal
Water table
Suction line
1 1/4 or 2 1/2 inch well casing
Native material usually sands/ gravels
Well screen
13
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14
Pumps
MOTOR
PUMP
Submersible pump
Jet pump/Suction pump
15
What threatens (drinking) water?
  • Sediments
  • Runoff and erosion carry sediments and various
    hazardous materials and microbes
  • Microbial contaminants
  • Septic systems, natural sources, unmanaged
    animals and manure storage
  • Chemical contaminants
  • Accidents, uncontrolled/unmanaged hazardous
    materials, stormwater, vandalism, septic systems

16
Naturally occurring constituents in Massachusetts
Bedrock
Sandstone - Low pH, iron and manganese, sometimes
other minerals
  • Stockbridge Formation, Dolomite marble High pH,
    hardwater

Gneiss Schist - Low pH, radon, iron, other
17
Beaver Activity Impacts?
Similar procedure for other storm related
flooding conditions
  • Conduct Sanitary Survey
  • Test drinking water for bacteria
  • No action unless emergency exists
  • Contact MassDEP DPH
  • Contact MassDFW Con. Comm. if dam removal is
    necessary

18
Contaminants from human activity…
19
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20
Contaminant Effects?
  • Acute health effects (short term exposure)
  • Pathogens Virus, bacteria, parasites
  • Nitrate blue baby, indicator of pathogens
  • Chronic health effects (usually long term
    exposure)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), (solvents,
    other chemicals)
  • Synthetic Organic Compounds (pesticides)
  • Inorganic Compounds (metal/minerals)
  • Aesthetic concerns
  • Taste and Odor (Iron, Manganese, Sulfides, etc.)

21
How to handle a possible well contamination
  • Conduct site inspection
  • If necessary, test water quality
  • Require/recommend corrective action
  • If unsure contact MassDEP or DPH

What type of contamination might be coming from a
farm or residential home?
22
For contamination above standards http//mass.gov/
dep/water/dwstand.doc
  • Oil or Hazardous Materials contact regional
    MassDEP office
  • MassDEP 24-hour emergency hotline 1-888-304-1133
  • Road salt from State road MassHighway Private
    Well Road Salt Contamination Program (617)
    973-7577
  • Bacteria detected inspect well, sanitary seal
    and disinfect well and distribution system

23
Shock Chlorination of Wells
  • Should be done by an experienced professional
    (licensed well driller or water operator)
  • Procedures outlined in MassDEPs Private Well
    Guidelines
  • Not meant to deal with persistent bacteria
    problems.
  • Dont discharge highly chlorinated water into
    septic system or directly to surface water body.
  • Collect follow-up bacteria samples after all
    traces of chlorine are gone.

24
Treatment
  • Filtration
  • Removes sediments may remove some pathogens
  • Ion Exchange
  • Taste and odor, some metals, some radionuclides,
    hardness
  • pH Adjustment
  • Reduces corrosion of plumbing and fixtures (lead
    and copper)

pH adjustment - limestone contactors, soda ash
(sodium carbonate) or baking soda (sodium
bicarbonate)
Sodium chloride (salt) or potassium chloride for
hardness or iron removal
25
Treatment continued
  • Activated Carbon
  • Organics, taste odor
  • Disinfection kills pathogens
  • UV does not provide a residual and may require
    pre-filter. Disinfect well and ensure a sanitary
    seal exists.

UV light kills bacteria
26
Treatment continued
  • Reverse Osmosis (usually point of use only)
  • Sodium, chloride, Organics, Radionuclides

27
Summary of Treatment Options
MassDEP
28
Treatment Information/Guidance
  • FACT SHEETS
  • MassDEP Private Wells Guidelines
  • http//www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking/privatew.ht
    m
  • New Hampshire DES Web Site
  • http//www.des.nh.gov/dwg.htm
  • Types of treatment?
  • Material they remove?
  • Impact on septic systems?
  • Maintenance?
  • Cost?

29
Other contaminants of special concern…
Arsenic
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for arsenic
    dropped from 50 ppb to 10 ppb in 2006
  • Usually NATURALLY occurring in rocks and soil
  • Primarily bedrock, groundwater supplies
  • Industry or agriculture can be source

Treatment Options Species Dependent As (III)
oxidation As (IV) Anion Exchange, Activated
Alumina, RO, Distillation
  • Arsenic in Private Well Water Frequently Asked
    Questions http//www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking/a
    rswell.htm
  • Arsenic questions Joe Cerutti of the Boston
    Drinking Water Program at (617) 292-5859 or
    e-mail Program.Director-DWP_at_state.ma.us.

30
Sodium (Road Salt)
  • Shallow wells are most susceptible
  • Sodium and Chloride Options
  • Drill a new well, sleeve off shallow fractures
  • Reverse Osmosis

Road salt from State road MassHighway Private
Well Road Salt Contamination Program (617)
973-7577
Radionuclides
  • Radionuclide Treatment Option
  • Radium 226, Radium 228 - Cation exchange,
    manganese greensand filters, or reverse osmosis
  • Uranium - Anion exchange or reverse osmosis
  • http//www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking/fsrads.htm
    treated

31
Legal Framework - Local Authority to regulate
Private Wells
  • MGL 111 31
  • Board of Health may make reasonable health
    regulations
  • MGL 111 122A
  • Board of Health may make determination of
    whether water supply is safe and adequate
  • MGL 40 54
  • No building permit shall be issued unless a
    supply of water is available from well or public
    water supply

32
Private Well Regulation Local Permit
Boards of Health should contact MassDEP prior to
issuing a Victualler's license for any facility
served by their own water supply to determine if
the facility should also be regulated by MassDEP
as a Public Water System.
  • Well Location and Specific Use requirements
  • Setbacks, irrigation, potable, process,
    geothermal Public vs private
  • Well Construction
  • Mass Lic. Well driller, well log, type of
    construction, grouting, other permits?
  • Water Quantity
  • Pumping test, base demand on of bedrooms
  • Water Quality testing
  • Certified laboratory, Quality and Frequency new
    wells and at property transfers
  • Well Decommissioning
  • Properly sealing/grouting

33
Model Regulations and Real Examples
  • Private Well Guidelines
  • http/www.mass.gov/dep/water/laws/prwellgd.pdf
  • Model Regulation
  • http//www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking/modwell.doc
  • Parameters and testing frequency
  • http//www.mass.gov/dep/water/laws/priwells.doc
  • Just a few towns with Regulations
  • Upton, Hingham, Boxborough, Dudley, Sharon,
    Westborough, Ipswich, Merrimac, Bedford,
    Easthampton, Topsfield, Grafton, Danvers,
    Norfolk, Oxford, Ashburnham, Bourne, Ashby,
    Lancaster, Littleton, Wellesley, Carver,
    Wellfleet, Dartmouth, Westford, Duxbury, Milford,
    Mashpee (unique), Wrenthem, Townsend

34
Special issue - Local Fairs
BOH and DPH regulate local fairs and events
MassDEP recommendations
  • Event operators work with Certified Drinking
    Water Operators 30 days before an event to flush
    and disinfect water lines.
  • T.Coliform, nitrate, and nitrite should be tested
    30 days prior to, and 1week prior to event.
    T.Coliform should be tested every 7 days
    thereafter.
  • Use a Mass Certified Laboratory.

See MassDEP Fact Sheet on Drinking Water at
Local Fairs
35
Private Well Testing Recommendations
  • Require water quality monitoring upon
    installation, property transfer and minimally
    every three years after any changes of water
    quality for
  • bacteria (total coliform),
  • sanitary chemicals and
  • VOCs
  • others as appropriate - radionuclides, etc.

MassDEP web site for water quality testing and
certified laboratories http//www.mass.gov/dep/wa
ter/drinking/qalabjp.htm Use a MassDEP certified
laboratory http//www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking
/certifie.htm
36
Private Well Water Quality Testing Recommendations
  • Acute health risk (sanitary chems) . 75 - 100
  • (Coliform, nitrate, nitrite)
  • Volatiles/Semi-volatiles ..........……. 100 -
    200
  • Pesticides (in agricultural areas) .…. 150 -
    800
  • Metals ……………………….….... 20 - 35 (each)
  • Sodium and aesthetic parameters ... 55 - 120
  • Radionuclides …………………….. 50 - 250

Frequency of testing for specific parameters
should be guided by local and regional land use,
well water history, and any specific age or
health dependent concerns.
37
Why Protect Water Sources?
  • Protects public health and the environment
  • Prevention is cheaper than cleanup or finding new
    sources
  • Reduces drinking water treatment costs
  • Enhances public confidence

Public Awareness is the best way to achieve
protection
38
What is drinking water source protection?
  • Contamination Prevention
  • Best Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Controls Health Regulations (Well Regulation
    and Floor Drain Regulation), Conservation
    Zoning controls
  • Education and Awareness

39
Site design Things to think about
Septic
Well
  • the lay of the land (slopes)
  • remember your neighbors
  • maintain septic system
  • household hazardous wastes
  • protect wet areas and waterways
  • fuel storage tanks
  • wash car, pet wastes, lawn care, manure compost
    not just a pile

40
Contact Information
  • Internet http//www.mass.gov/dep/water/
  • Drinking Water Contacts
  • WERO Deirdre Cabral 413-755-2148
  • NERO James Persky 978-694-3227
  • CERO Marielle Stone 508-767-2827
  • SERO Richard Rondeau 508-946-2816

41
Thank you
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