Town of Coventry, RI
Kent County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Coventry as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building regulations — See Ch. 106.
Sewers — See Ch. 191.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 213.
Zoning — See Ch. 255.
[Adopted 9-11-2006 by Ord. No. 05-06-251]

§ 242-1 Purpose.

It is the intent and purpose of this article to provide minimum requirements for the installation and approval of new domestic or altered wells which produce sufficient supply of potable water to meet the needs of each household and to create consistent standards and procedures that ensure that wells are subject to scientific reliable quantitative tests before a certificate of occupancy is issued to a dwelling home or residence. This article is dedicated to development of better well drilling, to safeguarding water resources and to standardizing drilling and other practices.

§ 242-2 Adoption by reference.

This article adopts by reference any and all regulations promulgated by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), Division of Groundwater and Freshwater Wetlands (Water Resources), as to Rules and Regulations Governing the Enforcement of Chapter 46-13.2 Relating to the Drilling of Drinking Water Wells and any other federal, state or local law not otherwise inconsistent herewith.

§ 242-3 Applicability.

This article is applicable to all proposed new or altered domestic wells in the Town of Coventry whether or not existing prior to July 1, 2006. Only new overburden or bedrock wells to be used as a domestic well, as defined herein, which meet the standards of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and this article shall be permitted.

§ 242-4 Definitions.

Except as otherwise hereinafter set forth, this article incorporates by reference those definitions published in the Rules and Regulations Governing the Enforcement of Chapter 46-13.2 Relating to the Drilling of Drinking Water Wells. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALTERING A WELL
The deepening, reaming, casing, recasing, perforation, installation of linear pipe, packers, seals and other material change in the design or construction of a well.
APPROVED
Approved by the Building Official of the Town of Coventry.
ARTESIAN WELL
A well that is free flowing at the ground surface due to natural pressure of an aquifer, which causes the water level in a well to be above the ground surface. It means a well in which groundwater is under sufficient head to rise above the level at which it was first encountered whether or not the water flows at land surface. If the water level stands above land surface, the well is a flowing artesian well.
BEDROCK
The solid rock that underlies unconsolidated overburden materials.
BEDROCK WELL
A well completed in the rock underlying surficial unconsolidated material. (Fractured bedrock is considered bedrock.)
CASING
The tubing, pipe or conduit, welded or screw coupled, and installed in the borehole during or after drilling to support the sides of the well and prevent caving, to shut off water or contaminated fluids from entering the hole, and to prevent waste of groundwater. The term “casing” does not include slotted or perforated pipe, well screens, or liner pipe.
CASING SEAL
The watertight seal established in the well bore between the well casing and the drill hole wall to prevent the inflow and movement of surface water or shallow groundwater in the well annulus, or to prevent the outflow or movement of water under artesian or hydrostatic pressures.
DOMESTIC WELL
A well used to serve one or more residence(s) for the purpose of supplying water for drinking, culinary, sanitary, or other household uses and which is not a public water supply as defined by the Rhode Island Department of Health. A domestic well may be an artesian well, overburden well, or bedrock well or any combination thereof.
EFFECTIVE STORAGE CAPACITY
The volume of standing water in a well that is available for removal and use, and is capable of being pumped from the well.
EFFECTIVE WELL DEPTH
The height of the water column in a well that is available for removal and use (i.e., the distance between the static water level and the pump level).
OVERBURDEN WELL
A well which is screened in the unconsolidated soil materials (i.e., fill, sand, gravel, silt, clays) that lie on top of the bedrock.
POTABLE WATER
Water which meets consumption standards of the Rhode Island Department of Health or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, whichever is more restrictive.
RECOVERY
The rise in static water level in a well that occurs when discharge from that well or a nearby well is stopped.
REQUIRED CONSTANT PUMP RATE
The Town-required pumping rate to be maintained throughout the duration of the yield test.
REQUIRED WELL YIELD
The minimum yield of a domestic well required by RIDEM and as hereinafter set forth, whichever standard is more stringent.
WELL
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 artificially withdrawn or injected.
WELL YIELD
The quantity of water per unit of time which may flow or be pumped continuously from a well.

§ 242-5 Well permit required.

A. 
A well permit is required from the Building Official for all newly installed or altered domestic wells servicing both existing and new residences. Alterations of existing wells that involve pump or electrical repairs or replacement only shall not require a well permit. A well permit shall be applied for in writing on a form provided by the Building Official of the Town of Coventry, and the fee for such permit shall be as set forth in Chapter 122, Fees. The receipt of said permit shall be conditioned upon the following:
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 03-09-273]
(1) 
Notice in accordance with Subsections B and C shall be given to the Building Official; and
(2) 
Written acknowledgment given by the applicant of
(a) 
Receipt of a copy of this article and the Town's Well Completion Report; and
(b) 
Understanding of the requirements set forth herein, including but not limited to the receipt of a well certificate in accordance with § 242-6F.
B. 
Notice of intent to construct a well. Prior to the commencement of drilling activities at the site of a proposed domestic well, the well owner or the owner's designee shall provide notice to the Town Building Official of the owner's intent to install a well. Written notice will be furnished to the Town's Building Official at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of drilling. If, for any reason, the scheduled date(s) of drilling changes, the Town will be notified of the new date of drilling at least 48 hours in advance of such date. All times specified in this section shall not include weekends and state or federal holidays.
C. 
Notice of yield test. Prior to the commencement of yield testing activities at a newly installed domestic well, the well owner, or the owner's designee, will provide notice to the Town Building Official of the date and exact time of test commencement. Written notice shall be furnished to the Town at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled date of the yield test, and at least two hours' notice will be given of the exact start time of the test. If, for any reason, the scheduled time or date of the start of the yield test changes, the Town will be notified immediately. The well owner will provide notification of the new time and date in accordance with the notification requirements detailed above. All times specified in this section shall not include weekends and state or federal holidays.

§ 242-6 Yield test requirements.

A. 
General.
(1) 
The Town of Coventry hereby incorporates by reference those minimum test yield requirements for individual residential household use established by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for bedrock wells for all newly installed or altered wells, to wit:
Minimum Test Yield
(gallons per minute)
Minimum Well Depth
(feet)
5
100
3.5
150
2
200
1
300
0.5
450
(2) 
The foregoing assumes that the static level is between 25 feet and 35 feet below the ground level with a six-inch diameter well.
B. 
Protocol.
(1) 
A yield test will be performed on all newly installed or altered domestic wells. The yield test will be conducted in accordance with all current state requirements and industry standards, as well as the additional requirements stipulated herein. The duration of the yield test will be a minimum of five hours, and will demonstrate the well is capable of providing a sufficient supply of water for the proposed use. The yield test will be conducted at a constant flow rate for the duration of the test.
(2) 
Accounting for the effective storage capacity of the well.
(a) 
To ensure a domestic well is capable of producing the minimum required well yield, the removal of the effective storage capacity of the well shall be incorporated into the yield test. To incorporate the effective storage capacity of a six-inch diameter well into the yield test, the formulas detailed below shall be utilized. If a well owner or installer proposes to construct a domestic well other than six inches in diameter, the foregoing formulas in Subsection A above shall be revised by the Town Engineer or consultant on a case-by-case basis.
(b) 
A well owner or installer proposing to install a well with a diameter other than six inches shall submit a written request to the Town identifying the specific proposed well construction details. The Town's consultant shall then provide revised formulas to determine the well installation and testing requirements.
(c) 
Formulas.
[1] 
Determine the required RIDEM and/or Town of Coventry yield.
[2] 
Determine the effective storage capacity:
Depth to top of pump (feet) – Measured depth to water (feet)
=
Effective Well Depth (feet)
Effective Well Depth (feet) x 1.5 (gallons/feet)
=
Effective Storage Capacity (gallons)
[3] 
Determine the required constant pump rate to be pumped from the well during the yield test.
*
Five-hour minimum
The required constant pump rate shall be pumped from the well for the duration of the yield test.
[4] 
Location of the discharge line. The pump discharge line shall be located so as to eliminate recirculation of pumped water during the yield test. The discharge point for water pumped during yield tests shall be located at least 50 feet away and topographically lower than the production well.
[5] 
Collection of depth-to-water measurements.
[a] 
Depth-to-water measurements, accurate to within 1/10 of one foot, shall be collected at key points during the yield test. Key points include immediately prior and subsequent to the start of the yield test, immediately prior and subsequent to the finish of the yield test, and at a minimum every 1/2 hour during the yield test.
[b] 
Sufficient depth-to-water measurements shall also be collected to demonstrate compliance with the recovery requirement discussed below.
[6] 
Recovery requirement.
[a] 
For wells with an effective well depth of 450 feet or less, the well owner shall demonstrate that the water level in the well has recovered to at least 85% of the static water level (water level measured prior to commencement of the yield test) within 18 hours of the end of the yield test. To demonstrate compliance with the recovery requirement, one water level measurement documenting a minimum of 85% recovery shall be collected no more than 18 hours after the end of the yield test. The following formula shall be used to demonstrate compliance with this requirement:
[b] 
For wells with an effective well depth greater than 450 feet, the well owner shall demonstrate that the well recovers to 85% of the static water level, as detailed above, or that the well recovers at a rate of 20 feet per hour for a period of 18 hours. To demonstrate compliance with the recovery requirement, one water level measurement collected immediately after the end of the yield test shall be compared to a water level measurement collected no less than 12 hours and no more than 18 hours after the end of the yield test. The following formula shall be used to demonstrate compliance with this requirement:
NOTE: # Hour = The number of hours between the end of yield test and the final water level measurement (must be between 12 and 18 to ensure that the average recovery rate of the well is not skewed by rapid recovery immediately following the completion of the yield test)

§ 242-7 Inspections.

The Town's Engineer or designee may perform unannounced spot inspections during the yield test. During inspections, the Town's Engineer/designee may observe the yield testing procedures, discharge location, well location, well depth, and pumping rate, or any other aspect of the well construction or testing procedure deemed relevant by the consultant to verify compliance with RIDEM and Town regulations. The latitude and longitude of the well may also be recorded through the use of a handheld global positioning system (GPS) unit, or other acceptable means.

§ 242-8 RIDEM well completion report.

The RIDEM well completion report shall be completed and furnished to RIDEM and the Town Building Official within 15 business days of completion of the yield test. The well completion report shall be reviewed by the Town's Engineer within 15 business days to assess the accuracy, completeness, and acceptability of the well construction and yield test, and the ability of the well to provide a sufficient water supply to meet the intended use of the property. Issuance of a building permit from the Town Building Official shall be dependent upon submission and approval of the well completion report by the Town and the Town's Engineer.

§ 242-9 Town well completion form.

In addition to the RIDEM well completion report, the well owner shall complete the Town of Coventry well completion form. The Town well completion form shall be completed and delivered to the Town Building Official within 15 business days of completion of the yield test. The Town well completion form shall be reviewed by the Town's Engineer to assess the accuracy, completeness, and acceptability of the well construction and yield test. Issuance of a building permit from the Town Building Official shall be dependent upon submission and approval of the Town well completion form by the Town and the Town's Engineer.

§ 242-10 Well certificate required.

A. 
A well certificate is required from the Building Official, prior to the issuance of a building permit and/or certificate of occupancy for a newly constructed dwelling, for all newly installed or altered domestic wells, unless waived in accordance with the above. Alterations of existing wells that involve pump or electrical repairs or replacement only shall not require a well certificate.
B. 
Prior to the issuance of a well certificate, well completion reports as provided by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Town of Coventry shall be submitted to the Building Official. Reports shall not be accepted by the Building Official unless and until all information on the report is complete and verified by the Town's consultant as accurate and as consistent with state law and this article. In addition, the Building Official may require additional information from the well driller and additional certification by the Town's consultant.
C. 
Well certification shall be applied for in writing on a form provided by the Building Official of the Town of Coventry, and the initial fee for such certification shall be as set forth in Chapter 122, Fees, to cover expenses incurred by the Town for consultant review and inspection. The certification fee shall be in an amount sufficient to cover the actual expenses associated with the analysis, review, and inspection of the well in accordance with this article. The certification fee is to be deposited into an account as established by the Town Treasurer and shall be replenished and administered in accordance with § 242-11.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 03-09-273]
D. 
The Building Official shall maintain copies of all well information and certifications and make such information publicly available upon request.

§ 242-11 Handling of well certification fees.

A. 
The well certification fee is to be deposited into an account as established by the Town Treasurer. Outside consultants retained by the Town to assist in the review and inspection of an application shall be paid from this account.
B. 
When the balance in an applicant's account falls below 25% of the required deposit, the Building Official may require that the account be replenished as necessary to cover any further expenses.
C. 
An accounting of an applicant's funds held in the account may be requested by the applicant at any time, provided the request is made in writing to the Building Official. The Building Official shall respond to the request in a timely fashion. This accounting may include the latest statement from the Town Treasurer's records, a report of all checks authorized for issuance since the last statement, and/or an estimate of bills pending for work complete or work in progress.
D. 
Excess fees in the account shall be returned to the applicant or the applicant's successor in interest, at the conclusion of the review process.

§ 242-12 Additional requirements.

The Town reserves the right to require additional testing and/or monitoring of any well(s) to ensure adequate quantities and quality of well water for the immediate users and abutting homeowners. Such measures may include use of data loggers, pump tests, stream gauges, drawdown tests, and monitoring wells respecting bedrock and overburden wells. Incomplete or otherwise deficient well completion reports or questionable yield results or construction details may warrant a request for additional testing or assessments.

§ 242-13 Emergency provisions.

Nothing in this article shall preclude the emergency drilling of a drinking water well for a homeowner or tenant on an interim basis in the event a residence loses its water supply. If a well is drilled and installed under this provision, then the homeowner or tenant shall notify the Town Building Official no later than the next business day and will comply with all other provisions of § 242-5 of this article as soon as possible.
[Adopted 7-22-2013 by Ord. No. 07-13-291]

§ 242-14 Use of groundwater for potable purposes prohibited.

A. 
In connection with the remediation of the former Town Landfill located on the southern side of Arnold Road, the use for potable purposes of groundwater under certain real property (in whole or in part) located to the north and south of Arnold Road is hereby prohibited. For the purposes of this article, "potable purposes" is defined to mean use for drinking water or involving direct human contact (such as use in swimming pools) but does not include use for irrigation or other purposes.
B. 
The real property in whole or in part subject to this article is set forth on the list attached hereto as Exhibit A[1] and incorporated herein. A map showing the real property in whole or in part that is subject to this article is attached hereto as Exhibit B[2] and incorporated herein, and a copy of the map shall be maintained in the Office of the Town Building Official. Only that portion of a parcel of real property within the wellhead protection buffer boundary as shown on Exhibit B is subject to this article.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said exhibit is on file in the Town offices.
[2]
Editor's Note: Said exhibit is on file in the Town offices.
C. 
The placement and use of irrigation wells on the real property subject to this article shall be subject to the prior approval of the Town and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to ensure that any such well is not located within the known contaminant plume.
D. 
Such prohibition shall remain in effect until the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management or its successor department or agency shall determine that groundwater under such real property is suitable for use for potable purposes as defined herein. The Town Building Official shall give immediate written notice to the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management upon repeal or modification of this article or any judicial decision that repeals or modifies this article.

§ 242-15 Enforcement.

The Town Building Official is authorized to enforce the provisions of this article and to institute such proceedings, including proceedings to enjoin the use of groundwater prohibited by § 242-14, necessary to effectuate the requirements of this article. The Town Building Official shall also provide to the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management an annual report by September 1 of the number and nature of any violations of this article in the prior fiscal year ending June 30.

§ 242-16 Exception for investigative monitoring.

This article shall not apply to the use of groundwater from any investigative monitoring well installed in connection with the investigation or remediation of the former Town Landfill or by any federal, state or local governmental authority.