[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Sunderland 9-4-1985. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this regulation is to ensure housing units, not accessible to the public water supply, of safe drinking water and to ensure the safe destruction of abandoned private wells. Private well contamination in the past has led to exposure to contaminated drinking water and expensive extension of town waterlines.
Massachusetts General Law c. 111, § 31, Board of Health, may make reasonable health regulations, and MGL c. 40, § 54, requires that no building permit be issued to a property without a potable water supply. Water supply officials are responsible for regulating and monitoring public water. The regulation of private wells is the responsibility of local Boards of Health.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BOARD OF HEALTH
- Refers to the Town of Sunderland's Board of Health.
- PRIVATE WELL
- Any well serving less than fifteen (15) houses and serving fewer than twenty-five (25) people.
- Includes any dug, driven or drilled well, or any other source of water, to be used for the purpose of supplying potable drinking water in the Town of Sunderland.
- WELL DRILLER
- Any person, association, partnership, company, corporation or trust that constructs a well.
A private well construction or destruction permit shall be obtained from the Board of Health prior to construction or destruction of any private well.
No person shall construct or destroy a private well within the boundaries of the Town of Sunderland unless registered with the Water Resources Commission as required by State Regulation 313 CMR 3.00, Water Well Registration, as of August 27, 1981. A copy of the well driller's license must accompany application for permit.
A. Well location criteria shall include the following minimum lateral distances from the well site to the following:
Subsurface sewage disposal systems located in soils with a recorded perc. rate of more than 3 minutes per inch
Subsurface sewage disposal systems located in soils with a recorded perc. rate of 3 minutes per inch or less
Subsurface sewage disposal systems located in soils with no recorded perc. rate available
The generalities of the aforesaid not withstanding, no one shall position, locate, drill or dig a well or cause the same to be done in such a manner as to limit the use or enjoyment of any neighboring property in any manner whatsoever.
An application for a well construction or destruction permit shall be submitted by the property owner or owner's agent to the Board of Health on a form provided by the Board of Health.
The map and plot number, the location of the existing or proposed private well, to be destructed or constructed, and a general summary of any possible sources of contamination shall be submitted to the Board of Health with the permit application.
The application for a well destruction permit shall be accompanied by a plot plan with dimensions identifying the location of the well.
The application for a well construction permit shall be accompanied by an extended plot plan which will show dimensions from a distance of within two hundred (200) feet of the proposed well site to the following:
Existing and proposed structures.
Surface waters and surface drainage courses.
Subsurface sewage disposal fields, trenches or pits and adjoining septic tanks or cesspools.
Subsurface fuel-storage tanks.
Other potential sources of pollution an experienced well driller should reasonably be expected to recognize.
NOTE: The best available plot information will be required. Acceptable information sources include Board of Health records, on-site inspection, adjacent plot owner estimates and the Fire Department records.
The Board of Health will charge a fee of fifty dollars ($50.) for a well construction permit or a well destruction permit.
The Board of Health may require well location and construction modifications where reasonable health threats exist or when unusual hardships exist and equivalent water quality protection may be provided.
Well construction may proceed upon the approval of an application permit.
The following shall be required for a water supply certification which shall be required for the operation of a new well and/or the issuance of a building permit in the Town of Sunderland.
For homes to be connected to public water, a copy of a Town of Sunderland Water District entrance fee receipt to be provided by the landowner to the Board of Health before a building permit can be issued; or
For homes which will be served by private wells, the following must be provided within thirty (30) days of well completion:
If the applicant fails to provide the approved application the Board of Health may approve a new application and assess a late application fee.
The owner or owner's agent shall furnish the Board of Health with the results of bacteriological, physical and sanitary chemical analyses of the well water. Such analyses shall include standard tests for total and fecal coliform organisms, color, turbidity, sediment, odor, pH, hardness, sodium, iron, manganese, chloride, ammonia, nitrogen, nitrate and nitrite. The results of such tests shall also be provided to the owner of the property to be served by the well, and all tests shall be performed by a Division of Environmental Quality Engineering approved laboratory. The Board of Health may require additional water quality tests where reasonable contamination threats are known to exist. These additional tests may be for wells located in former farming areas or in other areas without access to the town water supply where possible contamination from various chemicals and/or pesticides may be suspected. Additional tests by owners of older wells may also be required if located in close proximity to any spillage of toxic materials. As all laboratories are not equipped to test for certain environmental variables, the laboratory chosen for analyses must be approved by both the Department of Environmental Quality Engineering and the Board of Health.
A certificate of construction by the well driller that she/he has complied with Department of Environmental Quality Engineering, Division of Water Supply, Guidelines for Public Water Systems, adopted for private wells in the Town of Sunderland.
The Board of Health includes the Department of Environmental Quality Engineering, Guidelines for Public Water Systems, as part of the private well regulation.
Whosoever violates any of these rules and regulations shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than ten dollars ($10.) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500,.) except when otherwise provided by law.
If any article, regulation, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or word of the rules and regulations adopted by the Sunderland Board of Health shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, that decision shall not affect any other portion of said regulations, which shall remain in full force and effect, and, to this end, provisions, and rules and regulations of the Sunderland Board of Health are hereby declared severable.