Township of Lower Southampton, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 26-101 Permit required.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 1]
It shall be unlawful from and after the passage of this part for any person to dig, construct or supply any water well, whether drilled, artesian or dug, in the Township of Lower Southampton, or to make any alterations or additions to any well in the Township of Lower Southampton, without first obtaining a permit from the properly designated official of said Township, and further provided that all work shall be done in strict accordance with the provisions of this part.

§ 26-102 Scope.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 2]
1. 
Applicability. Provisions of this part apply to any well as defined herein.
2. 
Approved comparable construction. When strict compliance with this part appears to be impracticable, the reasons therefor shall be communicated in writing to Lower Southampton Township for advice and approval of comparable specifications.
3. 
Contract applicability. Applicable specifications and provisions of this part are, by law, a part of any order or agreement, written or verbal, for the construction or reconstruction of a well or appurtenance thereto or for the installation of pumping equipment. Construction or installation shall be deemed complete when all requirements or approved comparable specifications are complied with.

§ 26-103 General principles.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 3]
1. 
General. The following basic principles, general in scope and fundamental in character, shall govern the location, construction or reconstruction and maintenance of wells, installations and maintenance of pumping equipment and supervision of well constructors and pumping equipment installers.
2. 
Well construction. Wells shall be:
A. 
Located in such manner that the well and its surroundings can be kept in a sanitary condition.
B. 
Adequate in size to permit such construction or reconstruction as may be necessary to provide a safe adequate water supply. See § 26-104.
C. 
Constructed in such manner as to maintain natural protection against contamination of water-bearing formations and to exclude known sources of contamination.
3. 
Pump installation. The installation of the pumping equipment shall be:
A. 
Located in such manner that the pump and its surroundings can be kept in a sanitary condition.
B. 
Adequate in capacity to supply the required volume of water, where available, for maintenance of sanitary conditions, all ordinary domestic purposes and other specified uses.
C. 
Designed to meet the well characteristics, durable in character and made in such manner that continued operation without priming is assured at time of installation.
D. 
Made in such manner as to provide adequate protection against contamination of any character from any surface or subsurface sources.

§ 26-104 Definitions.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 4]
As used in this part, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated in this section:
ADEQUATE WATER SUPPLY
Where obtainable, the yield of a well or the capacity of a pump and distribution shall be sufficient to meet the requirements which the user has stated are necessary for drinking, culinary and other purposes for which well water is intended to be used.
ANNULAR SPACE
The space between two circular objects, one of which surrounds the other, such as the opening between a drill hole and a casing pipe or between a casing pipe and a liner pipe.
APPROVED
Sanctioned by Lower Southampton Township, in conformity with applicable laws and regulations.
CONTAMINATION
Any matter which will render water unsafe for human consumption.
DRAWDOWN
The extent of lowering of the water level in a well when water flows or is pumped from it.
A. 
That part of a drill hole, auger hole or excavation established through the vertical zone of contamination.
B. 
That part of the drill hole, auger hole or excavation established through the vertical zone of contamination.
DRIVEN-POINT WELL
A well constructed by joining a "drive point" with a length of pipe, extended as may be necessary, and driving the assembly into the ground without a preliminary excavation in excess of 10 feet depth.
ESTABLISHED GRADE
Point of contact of the ground or artificial surface with the casing pipe or curbing of the well.
ESTIMATED GROUND SURFACE
The permanent elevation of the surface of the site of the well.
FLUSHING
The act of causing a rapid flow of water from a well by pumping, bailing or similar operation.
LOWER SOUTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP
The Board of Supervisors of Lower Southampton Township or any properly authorized official of Lower Southampton Township who may be designated to act for the Township by the Board of Supervisors.
NEAR SURFACE WATER
Water in the zone immediately below the ground surface. It may include seepage from barnyards, leaking pools and disposal beds or leakage from sewers, drains and similar sources of contaminated water.
PUMPING WATER LEVEL
That elevation of the surface of the water in a well when water flows or is pumped from it at a given rate.
SAFE WATER
Water that is sufficiently free from contamination to be safe for human ingestion.
A. 
When referring to a well, it means that the construction of the well and the installation of the pumping equipment are such that the well is effectively protected against entrance of contaminating matter.
B. 
When referring to the surroundings of a well, it means that the location and surrounding area is free from debris or filth of any character and not subject to flooding.
SEWER
A conduit used or intended for conveying sewage or other wastes.
SPECIFIC CAPACITY
The continuous yield of a well at a given drawdown, expressed in gallons per minute per foot of drawdown.
STATIC WATER LEVEL
That elevation of the surface of the water in a well when no water flows or is being pumped therefrom.
STUFFING BOX
An approved receptacle in which packing may be compressed to form a watertight or airtight junction between two objects.
VERTICAL ZONE OF CONTAMINATION
That depth of near surface formations containing connecting pore spaces, crevices or similar openings, including artificial channels such as unprotected wells, through which contaminated water may gain access to a well or the groundwater body.
WATERTIGHT CONSTRUCTION
Implies cased and grouted construction through firm foundations like clay or rock. Through granular material like sand or gravel, it implies that the casing pipe is of approved quality and assembled watertight.
WELL
Includes a dug well, a drilled well, and an artesian well.
WELL SEAL
An approved, removable arrangement or device used to cap a well or to establish and maintain a junction between the casing or curbing of a well and the piping or equipment installed therein so as to prevent water from entering the well at the upper terminal.
WELL VENT
An outlet at the upper end of the well casing to allow equalization of air pressure in the well.
YIELD
The quantity of water per unit of time which may flow or be pumped from a well at a constant specified drawdown.

§ 26-105 Location.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 5; as amended by Ord. 281, 9/21/1978, § 1]
1. 
General. Every well shall be located in keeping with the following principles:
A. 
At the highest point in the premises consistent with general layout and surroundings, but in any case protected against surface wash.
B. 
As far removed from any known or probable source of contamination as the general layout of the premises and the surroundings permit.
2. 
Relation to pollution sources. Minimum distances between wells and sources of contamination shall be in accordance with requirements of the Department of Health of the County of Bucks.
3. 
Relation to buildings. With respect to buildings, the location of a well shall be made as follows:
A. 
When a well is located adjacent to a building, it shall be located so that the center line of the well extended vertically will clear any projection from the building by not less than two feet.
B. 
Every well shall be located so that it will be reasonably accessible with proper equipment for cleaning, treatment, repair, test, inspection and such other attention as may be necessary.
C. 
No well shall be located so that the top thereof will be within the basement of any building nor under a building having no basement.
4. 
New wells. No new wells shall be drilled and no permit shall be approved therefor where there is a public water supply line within 300 feet of the subject lot, except that:
A. 
Re-drills of wells existing upon the date of adoption of this part shall be permitted upon the approval of the Board of Supervisors.
B. 
The Board of Supervisors may grant variances from the requirements of this subsection, in its discretion, where there is a showing of a hardship unique and peculiar to the subject lot.

§ 26-106 Design and construction.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 6]
1. 
Drilled-type wells. The requirements of § 26-103.1 shall be deemed to be fulfilled to the minimum extent when a drilled well has been installed in conformity with the applicable construction set forth in Table 26-1.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Table 26-1, Drilled Well Type Requirements, is attached to this chapter.
2. 
Well casing pipe. The minimum standard of quality for casing shall be new, steel or wrought iron equivalent to American Standard Schedule 30 pipe in sizes eight inches and over and Schedule 40 pipe for sizes under eight inches.
3. 
All connections to a well casing and all joints in the casing itself must be assembled pressure-tight, made up of correctly mated threaded pipe fittings, welded connections, sanitary well seals or other approved connections.
4. 
Well casing pipe shall be driven or installed so that no injury affecting the safety of the water supply results.
5. 
Upon completion of drilling, the well shall be equipped with a suitable watertight cap or plug to protect the well from tampering or from the entrance of foreign matter.
6. 
Provision for sounding water levels and water-level-indicating device.
A. 
A well used for domestic purposes shall be equipped with an access opening extending at least to ground level to permit sounding of water level in the well. This opening shall be three-eighth-inch or larger pipe properly sealed with a watertight cap or plug to prevent access of surface water. This access pipe may be a part of the well venting system.
B. 
A well used for commercial or industrial purposes shall, in addition to the above, be equipped with an approved water-level-indicating device.
7. 
Flowing wells. The construction of flowing wells shall comply with the minimum requirements of Subsection 1.
8. 
Every practicable effort shall be made to extend the watertight (cased and cement-grouted) construction into the upper confining bed of the artesian basin.
9. 
When it is impractical to extend the watertight construction as indicated in Subsection 8, an adequate packer shall be set and maintained in the confining bed with a flowpipe extending therefrom to a point at least one foot above the established grade.
10. 
Bored-type wells. Construction of this type well shall be subject to regulations specified by the Board of Supervisors of Lower Southampton Township at the time of application.
11. 
Driven-point wells. Construction of this type well shall be subject to regulations specified by the Township at the time application is made.
12. 
Dug-type wells. Construction of this type well shall be subject to regulations specified by the Township at the time of application.
13. 
Conversion of dug-type wells. Construction of this type well shall be subject to regulations specified by the Township at the time of application and in Subsections 14 and 15.
14. 
Preparation for deepening. Any sediment or debris in the bottom of the dug well shall be removed. The bottom shall be disinfected by distributing a chlorine solution over the bottom or adding such solution to water in the well. A concentration of 200 parts per million of chlorine shall be attained for disinfection.
15. 
Applicability to drilled-type construction. Deepening construction done by drilling methods shall conform to applicable conditions of Subsection 1. Existing dug- and drilled-type wells shall be effectively protected against entrance of surface and near-surface water by extending the casing pipe of the drilled part of the well to the surface and filling the dug part of the well with puddled clay or equally impermeable material.

§ 26-107 Surface protection.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 7]
1. 
Where practicable, the watertight casing of any well shall extend to a point above the established ground surface. See § 26-102.2.
2. 
Well pits will not be permitted unless approval is obtained from the Township. To be approved, well pits must be gravity-drained by a pipe of not less than three-inch size.
3. 
On offset pump installations in basements, the pump impeller or cylinder shall be located at an elevation above ground surface or at a height of two or more feet above the basement floor.

§ 26-108 Miscellaneous well construction requirements, samples and reports.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 8]
1. 
Alignment. The center line of a drilled or bored well shall not be out of plumb more than 12 inches per 100 feet of depth.
2. 
Caving protection. When caving or sloughing formations that would interfere with the proper functioning of a well or the pumping equipment are encountered, entrance of foreign material shall be prevented by means of liner pipe, cementing or other approved methods.
3. 
Finishing operations. Upon completing construction or reconstruction operations, the constructor of the well shall carry out finishing operations as follows:
A. 
Flushing and testing. Flush the well at a rate at least equal to 200% of the expected pump capacity for a minimum of two hours or until the water discharging is clear and free from sand. During the flushing operation, the amount of drawdown and stability of the yield shall be determined. See § 26-102.2.
B. 
Sampling. After completion of well testing, the constructor shall obtain and deliver to the Township an analysis of a sample of the well water, which analysis was made by a recognized laboratory or water testing service. The sample shall either have been taken by personnel of such laboratory or taken under conditions prescribed by such laboratory.
C. 
Sealing. After testing and sampling, the well constructor shall seal the well watertight. (See § 26-106.5.)
D. 
Safe water. If the results of analysis indicate unsafe water in the well, the well constructor shall take such additional measures as approved by the Township to assure a safe water supply. The safety of the water shall be judged by additional sampling and analysis as required by the Township. The cost per analysis is nominal, and all such costs shall be borne by the applicant.
E. 
Blasting. The use of explosives for increasing or recovering yield of any well developed into limestone, granite or quartzite formations, or of any sandstone well in which casings and liners are not grouted or in which the diameter of the drill hole is larger than that of casings or liners above the point of shooting, shall be undertaken only under permit from the Township. Any person engaged in blasting shall, in addition thereto, be licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
F. 
Chemical conditioning. The use of dry ice, detergents, chlorine, acids or other chemicals in wells for the purpose of increasing or restoring yield shall be undertaken only under permit from the Township.
G. 
Well construction report. Within 10 days after completing the construction or reconstruction of a well, the constructor thereof shall submit a report to the Township upon forms furnished by the Township.

§ 26-109 Pump installation and construction.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 9]
1. 
Hand pump. Every shallow well type hand pump and every deep well type hand pump head, stand or similar device shall be so constructed that no unprotected opening connecting with the interior of the pump exists. The spout shall be of the closed type. (See Subsection 6.)
2. 
A hand pump shall be mounted firmly to the well casing pipe or pump mounting sleeve in such manner as to effectively seal the top of the casing or sleeve.
3. 
Power-driven pump. Any power-driven pump located over the well shall be mounted on the well casing, a pump foundation or a pump stand in such manner as to effectively seal the top of the well. In case the pump unit is not located over the well and the pump delivery or suction pipe emerges from the top thereof, a watertight expanding or equivalent seal shall be provided between the well casing and the piping. A similar seal shall be provided at the terminal of a conduit containing suction, submersible or jet pump piping.
NOTE: On aboveground pump installations, the extension of the well casing at least one inch into the pump base will be considered an effective seal, provided the pump base is mounted on a base plate or foundation in such manner as to exclude entrance of insects into the well and the elevation at the top of the well is at least two feet above any known floodwater level.
4. 
Pump house. The structure housing a power-driven pump shall be constructed so as to permit access to the pump for maintenance and repair work. The pump-house floor shall be constructed of concrete. On aboveground installations, the surface thereof shall be located not less than four inches above the established ground surface.
5. 
Protection against freezing. The pump, discharge line and accessory equipment shall be protected against freezing by insulation of structure and piping and installation of dependable heating facilities, preferably of a thermostatically controlled type.
6. 
Well vent. Any well vent opening shall be piped watertight to a point not less than 24 inches above any known floodwater level but at least inches above the top of the well. Such vent opening and extension thereof shall be not less than 1/4 inch in diameter, the extension pipe to be firmly attached. The terminal of the vent pipe shall be shielded and screened so as to prevent entrance of foreign matter. Any opening in a pump base shall be sealed watertight.
7. 
Sampling faucet. In all pressure water systems, provision shall be made for collection of water samples by installation of a faucet or petcock at the discharge side of the pump.
8. 
Final sampling. Upon completing the installation of the pump equipment, the installer thereof shall furnish to the Township an analysis of a sample of the well water, which analysis was made by a recognized laboratory or water testing service. The sample shall either have been taken by personnel of such laboratory or taken under conditions prescribed by such laboratory. The Township reserves the right, further, to, in addition thereto, require such installer to furnish a sample of water taken from the sampling faucet (see Subsection 7) and to have its own analysis made of such water at the cost of the applicant.

§ 26-110 Use of wells for waste disposal.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 10]
No well shall be drilled, nor any existing well used, for the purpose of disposal of domestic or industrial waste.

§ 26-111 Abandonment of wells.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 11]
1. 
Sealing of abandoned wells. The owner of any well shall, upon abandonment of any existing well or test hole, effectively seal and fill such wells and test holes in accordance with the requirements of Subsections 2 and 3. Any debris or obstructions that may interfere with proper sealing of the well or test hole must first be removed.
2. 
Dug or bored wells. Any lining material shall be removed at least down to the existing water level. Crushed stone not exceeding 1 1/2 inches and/or earth free of debris shall be used to pack the excavation up to existing water level. A layer of puddled clay or concrete at least five feet thick shall be placed above the bottom fill. The remainder of the excavation shall be filled with earth free of debris and large stones. The final fill must be well-tamped in layers not exceeding 18 inches in thickness.
3. 
Drilled wells (cased). The bottom portion of the well in the water-bearing stratum shall be filled with clean gravel or three-fourths-inch crushed stone for a depth of at least five feet but not exceeding 15 feet. In no event shall the bottom fill extend into the casing. The remainder of the well shall be sealed with cement grout or with alternate layers of cement grout and gravel or three-fourths-inch crushed stone. The final layer shall be cement grout and shall be at least 20 feet deep, measured from the top of the casing. The final layer of grout shall be inserted through a fill pipe extending into the casing and removed as the grout fill is installed or shall be thoroughly rodded. If the top of the well casing terminates below existing grade, the excavation to the top of the casing shall be filled with earth free of debris and large stones and well-tamped in place.
4. 
Report to Township. A report shall be made to the Township by the owner of every well which has been abandoned or temporarily removed from service. Such report shall include a detailed description of location, construction and geologic features and method of sealing.

§ 26-112 General provisions and administration.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 12]
1. 
The Board of Supervisors of Lower Southampton Township shall have the responsibility for enforcement. Said Township shall have management and control of well permits, applications and certificates.
2. 
No well contractor shall be issued a well permit until he has filed with the Township a letter stating that he is or intends to participate in the well drilling business in Lower Southampton Township.
3. 
No certificate of compliance shall be issued until the applicant for said certificate has filed with the Township an application for permit to drill well and a well record form. Said application and record shall be completely filled out, and the Township may reject any application or record not completely filled out.
4. 
Any person willfully filing misinformation in completing forms will be subject to prosecution under existing statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

§ 26-113 Fees.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 13]
The Board of Supervisors shall from time to time by resolution establish the fees to be charged for the issuance of permits required under the provisions of this part. No permit required under the provisions of this part shall be issued until the fees prescribed by such resolution shall be paid in full.

§ 26-114 Violations and penalties.

[Ord. 205, 6/15/1972, § 14; as amended by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986; and by Ord. 532, 9/10/2008]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this part continues or each section of this part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.