Town of Southwick, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Southwick 1-9-1989; amended in its entirety 3-30-1998. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.
GENERAL REFERENCES
Sewers — See Ch. 145.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 315.
Disposal systems — See Ch. 410.

§ 420-1 Purpose.

These regulations are intended to protect the public health, safety and general welfare by ensuring that private wells are constructed in a manner which will protect the quality of the groundwater derived from private wells.

§ 420-2 Statutory authority; supersession of prior regulations.

A. 
These regulations shall take effect upon passage and so remain until modified or amended by the Board of Health. They are enacted by the Southwick Board of Health under the authority granted in the M.G.L. c. 111, § 31. Board of Health regulations are an exercise of the police power under which the various levels of government are responsible for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare.
B. 
These regulations supersede all previous regulations adopted by the Board of Health pursuant to the construction of private wells (and monitoring wells where applicable).

§ 420-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED WELL
A private well that has not been used for drinking water for a period of one year or more and which the owner declares, in writing, to be permanently discontinued for supplying water.
AGENT
Any person designated and authorized by the Board to execute these regulations. The agent shall have all the authority of the appointing Board and shall be directly responsible to the Board and under its direction and control.
APPLICANT
Any person who intends to have a private well constructed or destroyed.
BOARD
The Board of Health of Southwick, Massachusetts, or its authorized agent.
BUSINESS OF DIGGING OR DRILLING
A person who charges a fee for digging or drilling a well or a person who advertises for hire the availability to dig or drill wells within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
CASING
Impervious durable pipe placed in a boring to prevent the walls from caving and to serve as a vertical conduit for water in a well.
CERTIFIED LABORATORY
Any laboratory which has full certification by the Department of Environmental Protection as provided in the most recent edition of "Certification Status of Commercial Environmental Laboratories."
MONITORING WELL
A well used to evaluate groundwater elevations and characteristics; not intended as a potable water supply.
PRIVATE WELL
Any dug, driven or drilled hole with a depth greater than its largest surface diameter developed to supply water intended and/or used for human consumption and not subject to regulation by 310 CMR 22.00.
PUMPING TEST
A procedure used to determine the characteristics of a well and adjacent aquifer by installing and operating a pump.
REGISTERED WELL DRILLER
Any person registered with the Department of Environmental Management/Division of Water Resources to dig or drill wells in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
STATIC WATER LEVEL
The level of water in a well under nonpumping conditions.
STRUCTURE
A combination of materials assembled at a fixed location to give support or shelter, such as a building, framework, retaining wall, fence or the like.
WATER SUPPLY CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued by the Board of Health which authorizes the use of a private well as a supply of drinking water.

§ 420-4 Well construction permit.

The property owner or his designated representative shall obtain a permit from the Board of Health prior to the commencement of construction of a private well. An application for a well construction permit shall be submitted by the property owner to the Board of Health on a form provided by the Board of Health.
A. 
Contents of application.
(1) 
Each permit application to construct a well shall include the following:
(a) 
The property owner's name and address.
(b) 
The well driller's name and copy of the well driller's license. (The license may be on file in the Board of Health office).
(c) 
A plan with a specified scale, signed by a registered surveyor or engineer, showing the location of the proposed well in relation to existing or proposed above or below ground structures.
(d) 
A description and location of visible prior and current land uses within 200 feet of the proposed well location which represent a potential source of contamination, including, but not limited to, the following:
[1] 
Existing and proposed structures.
[2] 
Subsurface sewage disposal systems.
[3] 
Subsurface fuel storage tanks.
[4] 
Subsurface waters and subsurface drainage courses.
[5] 
Utility easements, right-of-way and public ways.
[6] 
Any other potential sources of pollution.
(2) 
For new construction, the plan submitted to comply with Title V requirements will be acceptable for this purpose if it includes the above data for the well.
B. 
The Board of Health shall charge a fee for a private well construction permit. The fee must be paid when the application is filed with the Board. There is no fee for monitoring well construction permits. The Board of Health reserves the right to increase the fees to offset costs if technical consulting and/or evaluation is required for the Board to reach a firm conclusion.
C. 
Well construction may proceed upon approval of a well construction permit application and the issuance of a well construction permit by the Board. The permit shall be on site at all times while work is taking place.
D. 
All permits for well construction shall expire at the end of 12 months from the date of issuance. Permits may be extended for an additional six months if a written request is received by the Board of Health prior to the expiration date. No additional fee shall be charged for an extension, provided that there is no change in the plans for the proposed well. After a permit has expired, a new application and new fee must be submitted to the Board.
E. 
Permits and applications are not transferable.

§ 420-5 Water supply certificate.

The issuance of a water supply certificate by the Board shall certify that the private well may be used as a drinking water supply. A water supply certificate shall be issued for the use of a private well prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit for an existing structure or prior to the issuance of a building permit for new construction which is to be served by the well.
A. 
The following shall be submitted to the Board of Health to obtain a water supply certificate:
(1) 
Well construction permit.
(2) 
Copy of the water well completion report as required by the Division of Water Resources (313 CMR 3.00) to be provided by the well driller within 30 days from completion of the well.
(3) 
Copy of the pumping report required pursuant to § 420-7 of these regulations.
(4) 
Water quality report - required pursuant to § 420-8 of these regulations.
B. 
Upon receipt of all the above documents, the Board of Health shall determine whether the private water supply meets all the water quantity and water quality requirements for potable water in the Town of Southwick as set forth in these regulations.
(1) 
Upon an affirmative determination, the Board of Health shall issue a water supply certificate.
(2) 
Upon a negative determination, or if the Board deems it necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, the Board may issue a water supply disapproval letter which requires additional water quality analysis or water quantity testing, or both.
(3) 
The Board may, at its discretion, issue a conditional approval letter. A conditional approval letter shall set forth the conditions which the Board deems necessary to ensure fitness, purity and quantity of the water derived for that private well. Said conditions may include, but not be limited to, requiring treatment or additional testing of the water.

§ 420-6 Well location and use requirements.

A. 
In establishing the location of a well, the well driller shall identify actual or possible sources of contamination which exist or are proposed or planned to exist within 200 feet of the proposed well site. Private wells shall be located to avoid all potential sources of contamination.
B. 
Each private well shall be accessible for repair, maintenance, testing and inspection. The well shall be completed in a water bearing formation that will produce the required quantity of water under normal operating conditions.
C. 
Each private well shall be located at least 10 feet from any property line. The center line of a well shall, if extended vertically, clear any projection from an adjacent structure by at least five feet.
D. 
All private wells shall be located a minimum of 25 feet from the normal driving surface of any public roadway or a minimum of 15 feet from the road right-of-way, whichever is greater.
E. 
Each private well shall be located at least 25 feet, laterally, from the normal high water mark of any lake, pond, river, stream, ditch or slough. When possible, private water systems shall be located in areas above the one-hundred-year floodplain.
F. 
A suction line or well shall be located a minimum of 10 feet from a building sewer constructed of durable corrosion-resistant material with watertight joints or 50 feet from a building sewer constructed of any other type of pipe; 50 feet from a septic tank; 100 feet from a leaching field; and 100 feet from a privy.
G. 
Water supply lines shall be installed at least 10 feet from and 18 inches above any sewer line. Whenever water supply lines must cross sewer lines, both pipes shall be constructed of Class 150 pressure pipe and shall be pressure tested to assure watertightness.
H. 
All private wells shall be located a minimum of 100 feet from underground fuel storage tanks.
I. 
No private well or its associated distribution system shall be connected to either the distribution system of a public water supply system or any type of water distribution system.
J. 
When deemed necessary or appropriate by the Board, the above distances may be increased. The Board reserves the right to impose minimum lateral distance requirements from other potential sources of contamination not listed above. All such special requirements shall be added by the Board as conditions of the well construction permit.
K. 
Monitoring wells are exempt from the minimum lateral distance requirements.

§ 420-7 Water quantity requirements.

The applicant shall submit to the Board for review and approval a pumping test report. The pumping test report shall include the following:
A. 
The name and address of the well owner.
B. 
The well location referenced to at least two permanent structures or landmarks.
C. 
The date the pumping test was performed.
D. 
The depth at which the pump was set for the test.
E. 
The location of the discharge line.
F. 
The static water level immediately before pumping commenced.
G. 
The discharge rate and, if applicable, the time the discharge rate changed.
H. 
The pumping water levels and respective times after pumping commenced.
I. 
The maximum draw down during the test.
J. 
The duration of the test, including both the pumping time, and the recovery time during which measurements were taken, recovery water levels and respective times after cessation of pumping and reference point used for all measurements.

§ 420-8 Water quality testing requirements.

A. 
No private well shall be used as a drinking water supply and no building permit shall be issued for a new construction on property where the well is located unless and until the water derived from the private well has been tested.
B. 
A water sample shall be collected either after purging three well volumes or following the stabilization of the pH, temperature and specific conductance in the pumped well. The water sample to be tested shall be collected at the pump discharge or from a disinfected tap in the pump discharge line. In no event shall a water treatment device be installed prior to sampling.
C. 
Standards and parameters.
(1) 
The water quality test, utilizing EPA approved methods for drinking water testing and not methods used for analyzing wastewater, shall be conducted by a Massachusetts certified laboratory and shall include analysis for the following parameters:
Parameters
Maximum Recommended Standards
Alkalinity
30 to 100 milligrams per liter
Chloride
250 milligrams per liter
Color
15 units
Iron
0.3 milligrams per liter
Manganese
0.05 milligrams per liter
pH
6.5 - 8.5
Sodium
28 milligrams per liter*
Total hardness
200 milligrams per liter
Turbidity
1 turbidity units
* NOTE: Greater than 28 milligrams per liter is of concern to persons on low-sodium diets.
(2) 
No variances shall be granted on the following primary standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act:
Parameters
Standards
Coliform bacteria
1\100 milligram
Nitrate
10 milligrams per liter
Nitrite
1 milligram per liter
D. 
The Board reserves the right to require retesting of the above parameters or testing for additional parameters when, in the opinion of the Board, it is necessary due to local conditions or for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare. All costs and laboratory arrangements for the water testing are the responsibility of the applicant.
E. 
Following the initial water quality test for a new well, the Board may require or recommend that the applicant have the water tested periodically.
F. 
The installation of permanent on-site filtration systems for the removal of pesticides and chemical substances of hazardous nature for new well installations is prohibited.
G. 
Results of the laboratory analyses must be forwarded to the property owner, well driller and the Southwick Board of Health upon completion by the applicant.

§ 420-9 Well construction requirements.

A. 
No person(s) shall construct a well unless registered with the Division of Water Resources as required by State Regulation 313 CMR 3.00, Water Well Registration. A copy of the well driller's license shall accompany the application for a permit or be on file in Board of Health Office.
B. 
All wells shall be constructed in compliance with the Private Well Guidelines written by the Department of Environmental Protection.
C. 
All wells shall be constructed with new casing materials. The use of salvaged pipe will be strictly prohibited.
D. 
Well drillers need to certify in writing that they have complied with the Private Well Guidelines in order to receive the water supply certificate.
E. 
Permanent monitoring wells shall be encased with steel pipe and locked. Temporary monitoring wells may utilize PVC or other suitable material for encasing upon Board of Health approval.

§ 420-10 Decommissioning requirements.

A. 
Abandoned wells, test holes and borings shall be decommissioned so as to prevent the well, including the annular space outside the casing, from being a channel allowing the vertical movement of water. Destroying an abandoned well will protect the groundwater supply and eliminate potential physical hazards.
B. 
The owner of the private well shall decommission the well if the well meets any of the following criteria:
(1) 
Construction of the well is terminated prior to completion of the well.
(2) 
The well owner notifies the Board that the use of the well is to be permanently discontinued.
(3) 
The well has, after extended use, been out of service for at least three years.
(4) 
The well is a potential hazard to public health or safety and the situation cannot be corrected.
(5) 
The well is in such a state of disrepair that its continued use is impractical.
(6) 
The well has the potential for transmitting contaminants from the land surface into an aquifer or from one aquifer to another and the situation cannot be corrected.
C. 
An application for a well decommissioning permit shall be submitted by the property owner to the Board of Health, on a form provided by the Board, prior to the decommissioning of the well.
D. 
The Board of Health will then issue a well decommissioning permit.
E. 
There is no fee for a well decommissioning permit.
F. 
The property owner shall be responsible for ensuring that all abandoned wells and test holes or borings associated with private well installation are properly plugged. Only registered well drillers may plug abandoned wells, test holes and borings.
G. 
In the case of new well construction, all test holes and borings shall be plugged before the well driller completes work at the site.
H. 
All abandoned wells shall be destroyed in compliance with the Private Well Guidelines written by the Department of Environmental Protection. The guidelines constitute part of these regulations and are incorporated herein by reference.
I. 
Well drillers need to report and certify in writing that they have complied with the Private Well Guidelines in destroying the well.
J. 
Private wells shall be destroyed within 14 days of issuance of the well destruction permit. Temporary monitoring wells shall not be in use longer than 60 days without Board of Health approval. Upon completion of monitoring well testing, a well destruction permit shall be filed with the Board of Health and the well shall be destroyed within 14 days of filing.
K. 
After the well has been destroyed, the well driller shall file a report with the Board of Health stating that he/she has complied with these regulations.

§ 420-11 Enforcement.

A. 
The Board shall investigate violations of these regulations and/or violations of any water supply certificate conditions and may take such actions as the Board deems necessary for the protection of the public health and the enforcement of these regulations.
B. 
If an investigation reveals a violation of these regulations or the water supply certificate conditions, the Board shall order the private well owner to comply with the violated provision(s).
C. 
These orders shall be in writing and served in the following manner:
(1) 
Personally, by any person authorized to serve civil process; or
(2) 
By any person authorized to serve civil process by leaving a copy of the order at the well owner's last and usual place of abode; or
(3) 
By sending the well owner a copy of the order by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, if the well owner is within the commonwealth; or
(4) 
If the well owner's last and usual place of abode is unknown or outside the Commonwealth, by posting a copy of the order in a conspicuous place on or about the premises and by advertising it for at least three out of five consecutive days in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the municipality wherein the private well affected is situated.

§ 420-12 Hearing.

A. 
The private well owner to whom any order has been served may request a hearing before the Board by filing with the Board within seven days after the day the order was served, a written petition requesting a hearing on the matter. Upon receipt of such petition, the Board shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall inform the well owner thereof in writing. The hearing shall be commenced not later than 30 days after the day on which the order was served. The Board, upon application of the well owner, may postpone the date of hearing for a reasonable time beyond such 30-day period if, in the judgment of the Board, the well owner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for such postponement. At the hearing, the well owner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why the order should be modified or withdrawn. After the hearing, the Board shall sustain, modify or withdraw the order and shall inform the well owner in writing of its decision. If the Board sustains or modifies the order, it shall be carried out within the time period allotted in the original order or in the modification.
B. 
Every notice, order or other record prepared by the Board in connection with the hearing shall be entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Clerk of the city or town or in the office of the Board.
C. 
If a written petition for a hearing is not filed with the Board within seven days after the day an order has been served or if, after a hearing, the order has been sustained in any part, each day's failure to comply with the order as issued or modified shall constitute an additional offense.

§ 420-13 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by the final decision of the Board may seek relief therefrom within 30 days in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of this commonwealth.

§ 420-14 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Whoever violates any provision of these regulations may be penalized by indictment or on complaint brought in the district court. Except as may be otherwise provided by law and as the district court may see fit to impose, the maximum penalty for each violation or offense brought in such manner shall be $300. Each day or portion thereof shall constitute a separate offense. If more than one, each condition violated shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Whoever violates any provision of these regulations may be penalized by a noncriminal disposition as provided in M.G.L. c. 40, § 21D. If noncriminal disposition is elected, then any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty in the amount of a warning for the first offense, $25 for the second offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. If more than one, each condition violated shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 420-15 Variance.

A. 
The Board may, after a public hearing, grant a variance to the application of these regulations when, in its opinion, the enforcement thereof would do manifest injustice and the applicant has demonstrated that the equivalent degree of protection will still be provided to the private water supply without strict application to particular provisions of these regulations.
B. 
Every request for a variance shall be made in writing and shall state the specific variance sought and the reasons therefor. The writing shall contain all the information needed to assure the Board that, despite the issuance of a variance, the public health and environment will be protected. Notice of the hearing shall be given by the applicant at his or her expense, at least 10 days prior thereto, by certified mail to all abutters of the property upon which the private well is located and by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the town or city in which the private well is located.
C. 
The notice shall include a statement of the variance sought and the reasons therefor. Any grant or denial of a variance shall be in writing and shall contain a brief statement of the reasons for approving or denying the variance. A copy of each variance shall be conspicuously posted for 30 days following its issuance and shall be available to the public at all reasonable hours in the office of the Town Clerk or office of the Board of Health. No work shall be done under any variance until 30 days elapse from its issuance, unless the Board certifies in writing that an emergency exists.
D. 
Any variance shall be subject to such qualification, revocation, suspension, condition or expiration as is provided in these regulations or as the Board expresses in its grant of the variance. A variance may otherwise be revoked, modified or suspended, in whole or in part, only after the holder there of has been notified in writing and has been given an opportunity to be heard, pursuant to § 420-12 of these regulations.
E. 
No variances shall be granted for a new well installed on a new building lot for the distance between septic system and well as specified in § 420-6; and for water quality standards as specified under § 420-8.

§ 420-16 Severability.

If any provision of these regulations or the application thereof is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity shall be limited to said provision(s) and the remainder of these regulations shall remain valid and effective. Any part of these regulations subsequently invalidated by a new state law or modification of an existing state law shall automatically be brought into conformity with the new or amended law and shall be deemed to be effective immediately, without recourse to a public hearing and the customary procedures for amendment or repeal of such regulation.

§ 420-17 Disclaimer.

The issuance of a well permit shall not be construed as a guaranty by the Board or its agents that the water system will function satisfactorily nor that the water supply will be of sufficient quality or quantity for its intended use.

§ 420-18 When effective.

These regulations shall take effect upon passage.