Town of Williamstown, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Williamstown 11-15-1993; amended in its entirety 12-14-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Distribution of drinking water — See Ch. 37, Art. I.
Zoning — See Ch. 70.

§ 164-1 Purpose.

It is the purpose of these regulations to protect the public health, safety and welfare by ensuring that private wells drilled in the Town of Williamstown are properly permitted and constructed, that all water supply wells meet appropriate chemical and bacteriological standards, and that groundwater resources are protected.

§ 164-2 Authority.

These regulations are enacted by the Town of Williamstown Board of Health under the authority which includes, but is not limited, to one or more of the following: MGL, c. 111, §§ 31, 122, 122A, 127, 143, 155, 187, 188, Code of Mass. Regulations 310 CMR 11.02 and MGL c. 40 § 54.

§ 164-3 Definitions.

In these regulations the following terms have the meanings indicated.
ABANDONED WELL
A private well that meets any of the following criteria: construction was terminated prior to completion of the well, the well owner declares and notifies the Board that the use of the well has been permanently discontinued, the well has, after extended use, been out of service for at least three years, the well is in such a state of disrepair that its continued use is impractical or represents a physical threat, or 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.
APPLICANT
Any person who intends to have a private well constructed.
AQUIFER
A water-bearing geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation that contains adequate saturated permeable material to yield significant quantities of water for wells and springs.
BOARD
The Williamstown Board of Health or its designated agent.
BOARD OF HEALTH
The Williamstown Board of Health.
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
A certificate issued by the Board which authorizes the use of a private well as a water supply.
CERTIFIED LABORATORY
Any laboratory which has been certified by the Department of Environmental Protection as provided in its most recent edition of Certification Status of Commercial Environmental Laboratories.
PRIVATE WELL
Any nonpublic well, drilled to locate and/or supply water for any purpose. Wells drilled for potential public water supplies will be considered private wells until such time as the application has been made to the Department of Environmental Protection under the provisions of 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.
TITLE 5
The State Environmental Code for On-site Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems.
WELL
A bored, drilled, or driven well or a dug hole with a depth greater than its largest surface diameter, developed to locate and/or supply water for any purpose and not subject to regulation by 310 CMR 22.00.
WELL DRILLER
Any person, association, partnership, company, or corporation that constructs wells and is registered with the Division of Water Resources of the Department of Conservation and Recreation in compliance with the Well Diggers and Drillers Registration, 313 CMR 3.00.

§ 164-4 Standards for location, construction, decommissioning, water quality, and water quantity.

A. 
Location of wells.
(1) 
In establishing the location of a well, actual or possible sources of contamination which exist or are proposed to exist within 150 feet of the proposed well site shall be identified. Private wells shall be located so as to avoid all potential sources of contamination. The following minimum lateral distances apply for each listed source of contamination:
Source of Contamination
Minimum Lateral Distance
(feet)
Subsurface sewage disposal field (leaching facility, in use, abandoned, or in reserve)
100
Cesspool, seepage pit
100
Septic tank
50
Sewer line
50
Property line
10
Public way
25
Driveway
20
Underground fuel storage tank
100
Underground liquid propane storage tank
25
Utility right-of-way
100
Stable, barnyard, manure pile, manure storage tank, feedlot
150
(2) 
Where deemed necessary or appropriate by the Board, the above distances may be increased, or reasonable means of protection may be required, or both. The Board may impose minimum lateral distance requirements from other potential sources of contamination not listed above. The Board shall add any such special requirement as a condition of the well construction permit.
(3) 
No one may locate, drill or dig a well or cause the same to be done so as to limit the use or enjoyment of any neighboring property.
(4) 
The construction of a new private well for drinking water is prohibited where access to the municipal water supply or public water main is within 200 feet of the applicant's nearest property line.
(5) 
In the event that inadequate yield requires a change of the well site, relocation on the Engineer's or Sanitarian's plot plan shall be indicated and subject to approval.
B. 
Well construction standards.
(1) 
A well shall be constructed by a registered well driller.
(2) 
A well shall be constructed in compliance with the sections of the Private Well Guidelines of the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Water Supply, October 30, 1989, or as subsequently amended, that apply to well construction and well decommissioning.
(3) 
A well driller shall certify in writing that the well driller has complied with the Private Well Guidelines as specified above in order to receive a certificate of compliance.
C. 
Well decommissioning standards.
(1) 
All wells that are abandoned shall be decommissioned to protect the groundwater supply and to eliminate potential physical hazards.
(2) 
An abandoned well shall be destroyed in compliance with the Private Well Guidelines. [See § 164-4B(2).]
(3) 
A well driller shall certify in writing that the well driller has complied with the Private Well Guidelines when decommissioning the well.
D. 
Water quality standards.
(1) 
No private well shall be used as a water supply, and no building permit shall be issued for new construction on a property where the well is located, unless and until the water derived from the well has been tested and approved for water quality.
(2) 
Chemical and bacteriological analyses shall be conducted by a certified laboratory and shall not exceed the following values:
(a) 
Chemical:
Analysis
Standard
(mg/liter)
Ammonia (NH4)
0.05
Sodium (Na)
20
Chloride (Cl)
250
Nitrate nitrogen (N)
10
Nitrite nitrogen
1.0
(b) 
Bacteriological:
Analysis
Standard
Coliform Bacteria
None/100 ml H20
(c) 
In addition, the following water quality tests should be conducted for the informational benefit of the landowner.
Analysis
Should Not Exceed
Total dissolved solids
500 mg/liter
Iron (Fe)
0.3 mg/liter
Manganese (Mn)
0.05 mg/liter
pH
6.5 - 8.5
Total hardness
180 mg/liter
(d) 
Values over the levels advised above may require treatment at the discretion of the owner.
(3) 
Additional or repeated tests may be required when it is necessary for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare.
E. 
Water quantity standards.
(1) 
Yield test pumping shall be conducted at a rate at least equal to the pumping rate expected during normal well use, and shall be conducted for a minimum of four hours.
(2) 
A well intended for drinking water supply is required to provide, either through yield or with the addition of adequate storage facilities, a minimum number of gallons per day according to the following formula:
(number of bedrooms) x 110 gallons x 2 (safety factor) = daily minimum yield (gals.)

§ 164-5 Construction permit; certificate of compliance; decommissioning procedure.

A. 
Well construction permit.
(1) 
Well construction permit application.
(a) 
An application for a well construction permit shall be submitted by the property owner or his/her designated agent to the Board on the form provided by the Board.
(b) 
Except when a plan for new construction, including the following data for the well, has been submitted so as to comply with Title 5 requirements, the application shall include or be accompanied by:
[1] 
The Assessor's Map and lot number, the location of the proposed well, and a general written summary of any possible sources of contamination within 150 feet of the well site. [See § 164-4.A(1).]
[2] 
An extended plot plan, produced by a civil or sanitary engineer or a registered sanitarian, which will show distances less than 150 feet from the proposed well site to the following:
[a] 
Existing and proposed structures.
[b] 
Subsurface waters and subsurface drainage courses.
[c] 
Subsurface sewage disposal fields, trenches, or pits and adjoining septic tanks or cesspools.
[d] 
Subsurface fuel storage tanks.
[e] 
Other potential sources of pollution an experienced well driller should reasonably be expected to recognize.
[f] 
Property lines.
[g] 
Public ways.
[3] 
The well driller's certificate of registration, unless the certificate is on file with the Board.
[4] 
The application fee set by the Board of Health.
(2) 
Well construction permit.
(a) 
Well construction may proceed only upon approval of a permit application in the form of a well construction permit issued by the Board.
(b) 
A permit for well construction expires at the end of 12 months from the date of issuance. A permit may be extended for an additional six months if a written request is received by the Board prior to the expiration date. No additional fee shall be charged for the extension, provided there is no change in the plans for the proposed well.
(c) 
After a permit has expired, a new application and a new fee shall be submitted to the Board.
(d) 
Neither a permit nor an application is transferable.
(e) 
The procedures and specifications defined in these regulations are intended to be in conformance with, and where necessary, to supplement § 70-7.4D of Chapter 70, Zoning. This section of the bylaw covers the provisions for Water Resource 1 and 2 and Confined Aquifer Districts.
(3) 
Certificate of compliance.
(a) 
The following shall be submitted to the Board to obtain a certificate of compliance: No private well will be put into operation until a certificate of compliance has been issued.
[1] 
A well construction permit application.
[2] 
Within 30 days after completion of the well, the well driller shall file with the Board a copy of the water well completion report as required by the Massachusetts Division of Water Resources - Department of Conservation and Recreation (See 313 CMR 3.00.).
[3] 
Following well development and disinfection, the applicant or his/her designated agent shall collect water samples for bacteriological analysis. The applicant or his/her designated agent shall cause chemical analysis to be conducted and the report submitted to the Board for approval.
[4] 
Certificate of construction compliance stating that the well driller has complied with Department of Environmental Protection's Private Well Guidelines sections pertaining to well construction that are part of these regulations [See § 164-4 B(2).]
[5] 
Water quantity certification statement from the well driller that the minimum supply has been met.
(b) 
Upon receipt of all of the above documents the Board shall determine whether the water supply meets all the water quantity and quality requirements for private water supplies in Williamstown.
[1] 
Upon an affirmative determination, the Board shall issue a certificate of compliance.
[2] 
Upon a negative determination, or if the Board deems it necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, the Board shall issue a water supply disapproval letter which requires additional water quality analysis, or quantity testing, or both.
[3] 
The Board may, at its discretion, issue a conditional certificate of compliance. A conditional certificate shall set forth the conditions which the Board deems necessary to ensure fitness, purity, and quantity of the water derived from the well. This may include but need not be limited to requiring treatment of the water or regular testing.
B. 
Well decommissioning procedures.
(1) 
A private water supply well will be abandoned and properly plugged (decommissioned) if the well meets any of the following criteria;
(a) 
Construction was terminated prior to completion of the well.
(b) 
The well owner has notified the local Board of Health that the use of the well has been permanently discontinued.
(c) 
The well has, after extended use, been out of service for at least three years.
(d) 
The well is a potential hazard to public health or safety and the situation cannot be corrected.
(e) 
The well is in such a state of disrepair that its continued use is impractical or represents a physical threat.
(f) 
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.
(2) 
It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that all abandoned wells and test holes or borings associated with private well installation are properly plugged.
(3) 
Only a registered well driller will plug abandoned wells, test holes, and dry or inadequate borings. In addition, when an old well is replaced by a new well, the well driller will plug the old well once a certificate of compliance has been issued for the new well. In the case of new well construction, any test holes and dry or inadequate borings will be plugged before the well driller completes work at the site.
(4) 
Within 30 days following the completion of the plugging procedure, the registered well driller who plugged the abandoned well, test hole, or dry or inadequate boring must submit a well completion report to the Division of Water Supply Protection and will submit a decommissioning report to the Board of Health and the owner of the property where the well, test hole, or boring is located. The following information will be included in the decommissioning report;
(a) 
Name and address of the property owner.
(b) 
Name, address, and registration number of the registered well driller who performed the plugging.
(c) 
Reason for abandonment.
(d) 
Location of the well, test hole, or boring referenced to at least two permanent structures or, when possible, location coordinates determined by a registered land surveyor or registered civil engineer.
(e) 
All information known about the well, test hole, or boring including but not limited to:
[1] 
Depth.
[2] 
Diameter.
[3] 
Type of casing.
(f) 
Calculations made to determine the volume of the well, test hole, or boring.
(g) 
Static water level before plugging.
(h) 
Types of plugging material used, including mix specifications.
(i) 
Quantity of each type of plugging material used.
(j) 
Description of the plugging procedure including, but not limited to, notes regarding:
[1] 
Removal of pump and other obstructions.
[2] 
Removal of screen.
[3] 
Perforation or removal of casing.
[4] 
Method used to place plugging material (s).
(k) 
A copy of the original well driller's report.

§ 164-6 Administration and enforcement.

A. 
General enforcement. Environmental Code (310 CMR 11.00) governs the enforcement of these regulations.
B. 
Separate violations. Each day's failure to comply with any provisions of these regulations is a separate violation. Each numbered or lettered section or subsection of these regulations violated is a separate violation.
C. 
Variance.
(1) 
By vote of a majority of its full authorized membership, the Board of Health may vary the application of any provision of these regulations with respect to any particular case when, in the Board of Health's opinion, both of the following conditions are fulfilled:
(a) 
The enforcement thereof would do manifest injustice.
(b) 
The applicant has proved that the same degree of environmental protection, and protection of the public health, safety and welfare can be achieved without strict application of the particular provision. The alternative means of protection shall be detailed and documented by the applicant to the satisfaction of the Board of Health.
(2) 
Every request for a variance shall be made in writing and shall state the specific variance sought and the reasons therefor.
(3) 
Any variance granted by the Board of Health shall be in writing. Any denial of the variance shall also be in writing and shall contain a brief statement of the reason for denial. 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.
(4) 
A variance may be subject to any qualification, revocation, suspension, condition, or expiration provided in these regulations or that the Board of Health 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 has been notified in writing and has been given an opportunity to be heard, in conformity with the requirements of Title 1 of the State Environmental Code (310 CMR 11.00) for orders and hearings.
D. 
Forms. Compliance with these regulations will be administered by the forms prepared and approved by the Board of Health. The content of these forms may be revised by the Board of Health from time to time by administrative action of the Board of Health apart from § 164-7.
E. 
Fines. Whoever himself or by his servant or agent, or as the servant or agent of any person, firm, or corporation, violates any of the provisions of these regulations is subject to a fine as stated in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, Noncriminal Disposition, of the Code of the Town of Williamstown.

§ 164-7 Appeals.

[Added 2-7-2011[1]]
A. 
Any person or persons aggrieved by any order issued under this chapter may appeal by filing a written petition for hearing to the Board of Health, which must be received within 10 days after the day the order was served.
B. 
The hearing shall be commenced not later than 14 days after the receipt of a petition.
C. 
At the hearing the petitioner and other affected parties shall be given an opportunity to be heard, to present witnesses or documentary evidence, and to show why an order should be modified or withdrawn. Failure to hold a hearing within the time period specified herein shall not affect the validity of any order.
D. 
The Board of Health shall sustain, modify, or withdraw the order and shall inform the petitioner.
E. 
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Health may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of this commonwealth.
[1]
Editor's Note: This amendment also renumbered former §§ 164-7 through 164-10 as §§ 164-8 through 164-11, respectively.

§ 164-8 Amendments.

These regulations or any portion of them may be amended, supplemented, or repealed from time to time by the Board of Health, with notice as provided by law, on the Board of Health's own motion or by petition.

§ 164-9 Severability.

If any provision of these regulations is declared invalid or unenforceable, the other provisions shall not be affected thereby, but shall continue in full force and effect.

§ 164-10 Invalidation by state law.

Any part of these regulations subsequently invalidated by a new state law or regulation, or by the modification of an existing state law or regulation, shall automatically be brought into conformity with the new or amended law or regulation and shall be effective immediately, without recourse to a public hearing and the customary procedures for amendment or repeal of these regulations.

§ 164-11 Effective date.

The effective date of these regulations is December 14, 2004.