[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Boxford as Regulation 1-94; amended in its entirety 12-19-2012. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The majority of the dwellings in the Town of Boxford, Massachusetts, rely on private wells as their source of potable water. Such wells, and including wells for irrigation and agricultural use, are not regulated under State Code, 310 CMR 22.00, and are under authority of the Board of Health. For this reason, the Board of Health for the Town of Boxford, acting under MGL c. 111, § 31, as amended, and with reference to MGL c. 40, § 54, in the interest of and for the protection of public health, established and adopted the following rules and regulations concerning private well water supplies in the Town of Boxford.
As used in this regulation, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ABANDONED WELL
- A well that has not been used as a source of potable water for at least 12 consecutive months.
- The person or persons owning land contiguous to or within 100 feet of the lot lines of the land owned by an applicant applying for a variance to this regulation.
- APPROVED LOCATION
- The preapproved area defined in the well permit for a specific property in Boxford within which the well contractor may carry out test borings or well drilling for the purpose of investigating the potential for or installation of a safe drinking water supply.
- BEDROCK WELL
- A drilled well which extends into the bedrock and has a sealed casing.
- Board of Health.
- BORING or TEST BORING
- See "well."
- The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
- DEP-CERTIFIED WATER TESTING LABORATORY
- A laboratory that has been deemed capable by the DEP of producing valid data for tests of specified contaminants, such as nitrate, volatile organic compounds (VOC's), fecal coliform bacteria, etc., and has demonstrated it is able to perform accurate testing using scientific methods which have been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- DRILL HOLE
- see "well."
- DUG WELL
- A shallow well or pit which has been constructed by excavation.
- Every building or shelter, including but not limited to rooming houses and temporary housing used or intended for human habitation, and every other structure or condition located within the same lot lines whose existence causes or is likely to affect noncompliance with the provisions of this regulation. (Ref: 105 CMR 410.000)
- DWELLING UNIT
- The room or group of rooms within a dwelling used or intended for use by one family or household for living, sleeping, cooking and eating. "Dwelling unit" shall also mean "condominium unit." (Ref: 105 CMR 410.000)
- IRRIGATION WELL
- A well used as a source of water for irrigation of agricultural, residential or public lands and not intended for human consumption.
- LIVESTOCK WELL
- A well used as a source of water for animals kept on agricultural, residential or public lands and not intended for human consumption.
- MANURE STORAGE AREA
- An area approved by the Board of Health for the storage of livestock manure and as located on the drawing submitted as part of an application for a stable permit to the Board of Health. (Ref: Boxford Code Chapter 203, Stable Licensing).
- MONITORING WELL
- A well drilled for the purpose of sampling and testing water quality. The well shall not be used as a source of potable water and shall be abandoned once testing is completed according to these regulations [§ 202-3D(2)], unless reapplication is made to convert the monitoring well into a potable water supply.
- Any individual, family, partnership, association, firm, company, corporation, agency, group (including a city, town, county, state or other governmental unit) or any other entity responsible in any way for an activity subject to this regulation.
- POTABLE WATER SUPPLY
- A well or other source of water for human consumption which provides water which should meet all primary and secondary drinking water standards and guidelines as established by the DEP.
- PRIVATE WATER SUPPLY
- Any water system that is not regulated by 310 CMR 22.00.
- PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM
- Any system for the provision to the public of piped water for human consumption, if such system has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days of the year. (Ref: 310 CMR 22.00)
- WATER SYSTEM
- All pipes, valves, fittings, tanks, pumps, motors, switches, controls and appurtenances installed or used for the purpose of storage, distribution, filtration, treatment or purification of water for any use, whether or not located inside a building.
- Any pit, pipe, excavation, casing, drill hole, boring, test boring, or other private source or potential source of water to be used or potentially used for the purpose of supplying potable water or water for irrigation or agricultural use or used for analysis and testing purposes.
- WELL CONTRACTOR
- A person or persons registered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to engage in the business of digging or drilling wells within the commonwealth. (Ref: MGL c. 21, § 16)
- WELL DRILLING PERMIT
- A permit issued by the local Board of Health or its agent for the purpose of granting permission to a well contractor to drill or bore into the earth for the purpose of exploring or testing an approved location as a potential water source or for the purpose of monitoring water quality. Such permit is issued as part of the well drilling permit application submitted by the well contractor prior to the start of any test boring or well drilling activity. Permits must be signed by the person(s) owning the land; or, to be signed by the well drilling contractor, a signed letter from the land owner stating that the well contractor may sign the permit must be presented as part of the permit process. Permits for well drilling on Town land must be signed by an authorized representative of the Selectmen.
No well shall be installed or repaired in Boxford until a well drilling permit has been issued by the Board of Health, except as detailed in § 202-4A of this regulation. This shall include irrigation, livestock, and monitoring wells. A well drilling permit shall be issued or denied within 45 days after receipt, by the Board of Health or its agent, of a well drilling permit application. Application forms shall be available at the local Board of Health office during normal working hours.
No building permit shall be issued for the construction of a building which necessitates the use of potable water therein from a well located on the lot where the building is to be constructed until a well has been installed and the Board of Health has determined that a safe and adequate supply of potable water is available. The well and water supply system of a private water supply shall be located on the same lot as the dwelling or buildings wherein the water is used.
Repair, renovation or replacement of an existing well and/or water system shall follow all provisions of this regulation and must be approved by the Board of Health.
The well contractor shall observe reasonable sanitary measures and precautions on the performance of any work in order to prevent the pollution or contamination of the well.
Newly constructed wells or wells where repair work has been done shall be appropriately flushed and disinfected before being put into use.
All abandoned wells shall be tightly sealed by approved methods or filled with clean earth with a very high clay content to prevent pollution of the groundwater.
Where a well is to serve as a source of water for human consumption, there shall be a separate well for each dwelling unit, exclusive of legal in-law apartments.
For new subdivisions and high-density housing developments, the Board of Health may set additional restrictions on the permitted number of operational wells per lot or per development. Such additional restrictions may be made based on the potential impact of the proposed development on the public health and environment and on existing wells and septic systems bordering the proposed development.
No new or replacement well shall be installed closer than:
Fifty feet to any lot line.
Fifty feet to any septic tank.
One hundred feet to any privy, cesspool or leaching facility.
One hundred fifty feet to any privy, cesspool or leaching facility in those cases where the percolation rate of the septic system installation area is less than five minutes per inch.
One hundred feet from an existing manure storage area.
The separation between two operational wells shall be no less than 100 feet.
Public water systems shall require approval by the Division of Water Supply, Department of Environmental Protection, prior to the issuance of a well permit and/or building permit. The Board of Health may set additional requirements for operation of the system and for the quality of water from the system.
The Board recommends that no new well or replacement well be less than 30 feet from an abandoned well on the same property.
Every well shall supply safe and adequate water for the purpose for which it is intended and shall give satisfactory evidence of continuing capability to do so.
All new and replacement wells to be used as a source of potable water shall be bedrock drilled wells. Dug wells shall not be permitted as new or replacement wells for potable water.
Before being approved, every well shall be pump tested (bailing method accepted) for at least four hours by the well contractor. The results of the pump test shall be submitted on a form provided by the Board of Health and kept as a public record.
In cases of the construction of a well as a potable water source, whether a new or a replacement well, and before the well is connected to the residence it will serve, the Board of Health shall require the submission of an analysis report attained of the well water prior to the issuance of a disposal works construction permit in the case of new construction, or prior to connection of the well to the residence in the case of a replacement well. Such analysis shall include, as a minimum, pH value; specific conductance and hardness; levels of iron, manganese, sodium, nitrate nitrogen and arsenic; coliforms; and the report from an appropriate test for organic compounds, such as EPA Method 524.2, Purgeable Organic Compounds in Water, or an equivalent EPA-approved method. All test results shall be submitted to the Board of Health. The well shall not be connected to the residence until the Board of Health has reviewed the test results and approved connection, except in the case of an emergency, as determined by the Board or its agent.
The Board of Health may recommend that a specific water treatment system is installed as part of a water system based on the water analysis results specified in § 202-3E(3) of this regulation, if such analysis results do not meet the water standards stipulated in 310 CMR 22.00, and any additional primary or secondary water standards. A second chemical analysis report as required in § 202-3E(3) of this regulation is recommended if a water treatment system has been installed.
All bacterial and chemical analyses for new and replacement wells shall be carried out and reported by a DEP-certified water testing laboratory.
There shall be a separate water system for each dwelling unit, which may include an approved in-law apartment, and it shall not be installed or materially altered thereafter until a permit has been issued by the Board of Health. The Board will require a description of the installation with each application for such a permit. Emergency work for repairs or service of existing equipment not amounting to a substantial renovation or overhaul of the system, including replacement of pumps, tanks, motors, water lines, fittings, filters, water treatment systems, and controls may be done without a permit, provided such repairs meet all requirements of these regulations.
The water pipe from the house to the well pit or pitless adapter and all wiring shall be properly enclosed.
All pumps, motors and tanks shall be placed on a suitable foundation, and all equipment and parts of the system that may require adjustments or service shall be made readily accessible.
All pump houses, pump or pipe pits and wells shall be designed and constructed so as to prevent flooding and otherwise to prevent the entrance of pollutants or contaminants.
Well casings shall extend at least 18 inches above the final grade of the ground surface.
The installation of any water treatment system, including but not limited to water softeners, green sand or charcoal filters, and reverse-osmosis systems, shall be in accordance with all local and state building requirements. The system installer shall obtain the appropriate plumbing and electrical permit(s) from the local authority. Copies of the permit(s), a description of the system installed, a description of any backwash methods used in the system and the place of backwash disposal, and a water analysis report of samples taken after the system is in operation [as required in § 202-3E(4) of this regulation] shall be submitted to the Board of Health within 30 days of installation of the treatment system.
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued until all the provisions of this regulation have been met. The issuance of said certificates shall not be construed as a guaranty by the Town of Boxford, or of its agents, that the water system will function satisfactorily.
New and replacement chemically treated utility poles, including but not limited to utility poles treated with preservatives, fungicides, insecticides and petroleum products, shall not be installed within 50 feet of any public or private water supply. The location of all private wells within 100 feet of any new or replacement chemically treated utility pole shall be identified on a map and submitted to the Board of Health (by the installer) prior to installation of the utility pole. Said map shall contain the location of the proposed utility pole installation, the wells and sufficient street identifications and landmarks to enable the Board to identify the area of installation. The Board of Health may delay or prohibit installation of the proposed utility pole, or may require its removal, if it is installed prior to Board review, if the Board finds that the utility pole presents a potential threat to the public health or the environment.
The Board of Health strongly recommends that no pesticide be applied in any form within 100 feet of any public or private potable water supply, including but not limited to the application of pesticides to turf, shrubs, trees and agricultural crops, except in those specific cases where the pesticide has been approved for use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in wellhead areas. It is the responsibility of the pesticide applicator to locate all wells within an area to be treated prior to application of pesticides and to delineate, if required, a nonapplication zone around each well.
Every request for a variance from this regulation on a specific property shall be made by the property owner, in writing, to the Board of Health and shall state the specific variance sought and the reason for the request. The Board will notify the applicant of a date for a hearing to consider the variance within 45 days of receiving said request. The person requesting the variance shall also be responsible for notifying all abutters of the variance request as well as the time and place of the hearing to consider the variance. The Board of Health shall make a determination on the variance request within 30 days following the variance hearing.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Health may seek relief therefrom within 30 days in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Board of Health, its agents, officers and employees shall have the authority to enter upon privately owned land for the purpose of performing their duties for the administration and review of this regulation and may make or cause to be made such examinations, surveys or samplings as the Board deems necessary.
The Board of Health shall have the authority to enforce these regulations and permits issued thereunder by violation notices, administrative orders and civil and criminal court actions.
Any person who shall violate any provisions of this regulation for which a penalty is not otherwise provided shall be subject to a fine of not more than $200. Each day or portion thereof during which a violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense, and each provision of the regulation or permit that is violated shall constitute a separate offense.
So far as the Board of Health may provide, each section of these rules and regulations shall be construed as separate, and to the end that if any section, item, sentence, clause or phrase shall be held invalid for any reason, the remainder of these rules and regulations shall continue in full force and effect.
This regulation will take effect on or about September 8, 2010. As required by MGL c. 111, § 31, an attested copy of this regulation has been filed with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and with the Town Clerk of Boxford.