[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Straban 11-2-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to ensure and protect the quality and suitability of individual water supply systems by a permit procedure; to require a permit for the construction of individual and semi-public water supply systems and wells, production wells, test wells and monitoring wells; and to establish minimum construction standards for these systems, including their location, installation, reconstruction, replacement, alteration, modifications, reactivation, or abandonment.
The scope of this chapter applies to all individual and semi-public (community) water supply systems. Those defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as public water systems (at least 15 service connections or regularly serving no fewer than 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year) are exempt from this chapter.
The governing body is hereby authorized and empowered to adopt such rules and regulations concerning well drilling which it may deem necessary from time to time to effectuate the purposes herein.
All such rules and regulations adopted by the governing body shall be in conformity with the provisions herein, all other ordinances of the Township, and all applicable laws and applicable rules and regulations of administrative agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The governing body shall have the right and power to fix, charge, and collect fees, assessments and other charges in the municipality as adopted from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
This chapter shall apply to all wells which have not been completed or which are not in operation or in operable condition at the time of passage of this chapter.
This chapter shall apply to alterations to an existing well.
This chapter shall not apply to normal maintenance and minor repairs to keep the well in proper working order.
The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context specifically and clearly indicates otherwise:
- ABANDONED SUPPLY
- A supply, the regular use of which has been discontinued for a period of one year or more, or which is in such a state of disrepair that continued use for the purpose of obtaining groundwater is impracticable, or which has been replaced by a new well or public water supply.
- Any action which necessitates entering a well with drilling tools; treating a well to increase yield; altering the physical structural depth of the well; blasting; removal or replacement of well casing.
- ANNULAR SPACE
- The space between two cylindrical objects, one of which surrounds the other, such as the space between a drill hole and a casing pipe and a liner pipe.
- The American National Standards Institute.
- The American Petroleum Institute.
- A geological formation that contains and transmits water.
- The American Society for Testing and Materials.
- The American Water Works Association.
- The flowing back of used, contaminated or polluted water from a plumbing fixture or vessel or other sources into a potable water supply pipe due to negative pressure in such pipe.
- The access to the earth's heating and cooling capacity through a vertical hole constructed with well drilling equipment. The hole is fitted with a conduit for circulating a liquid. The space around the conduit and drilled walls is completely and totally filled with bentonite slurry and bentonite pellets.
- An impervious durable pipe placed in a well to prevent the walls from caving and to seal off surface drainage or undesirable water, gas or other fluids and prevent their entering the well.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (CEO)
- An authorized agent of the Township to administer and enforce this chapter and other ordinances in the Township.
- All of the aerobic and facultative anaerobic, gram-negative, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped bacteria which are capable of fermenting lactose with gas formation within 48 hours at 35° C.
- COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEM
- A water system which serves fewer than 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves fewer than 25 year-round residents.
- CONSTRUCTION OF WELLS
- All acts necessary to obtain groundwater or artificially recharge groundwater; provided, however, such term does not include an excavation made for the purpose of obtaining or prospecting for oil, natural gas, minerals, or products of mining or quarrying, or for inserting media to repressure oil or natural gas formations or for storing petroleum, natural gas, or other products and services. Construction of wells includes the location and excavation or drilling of the well, but excludes the installation of pumps and pumping equipment.
- Any individual, partnership, company, association, corporation, group or entity employed, hired, contracted or otherwise engaged by the owner to perform defined services for compensation.
- An arrangement allowing either direct or indirect connection through which backflow, including backsiphonage, can occur between the drinking water in a public water system and a system containing a potential source of contamination.
- DOMESTIC WATER USE
- The use of water for domestic use; water that is used by people or organizations that use their own wells to supply their water, as opposed to publicly supplied water.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
- FLOWING WELL
- A well that yields water by artesian pressure at the ground surface.
- GOVERNING BODY
- The Board of Supervisors of Straban Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
- Water found below the land surface. It is found in aquifers, in the pore spaces of rocks, in unconsolidated sediments, as permafrost, and as soil moisture. Groundwater flows to the surface naturally at springs and seeps and can form oases or swamps. It may also be tapped artificially by the digging of wells.
- A permanent watertight joint or connection made by filling with concrete, neat cement, or other approved impervious material between the casing and the undisturbed formation surrounding the well or between two strings of casing.
- INDIVIDUAL WATER SUPPLY
- A system including wells, pumps, and piping equipment, which supplies water to a private home.
- INSTALLATION OF PUMPS AND PUMPING EQUIPMENT
- The procedure employed in the placement and preparation for operation of pumps and pumping equipment, including all construction involved in making entrance to the well and establishing seals, but not including repairs to existing installations.
- LAND USE PERMIT
- No land use permit application will be accepted and/or approved in the absence of an approved well construction completion report issued under the terms and conditions of this chapter.
- The Township of Straban, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
- NON-COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEM
- A public water system which is not a community water system.
- The National Sanitation Foundation.
- Any person vested with sole or partial, legal or equitable ownership of property located in the Township.
- Any individual, partnership, company, association, corporation or other group or entity.
- PITLESS ADAPTER
- A device or assembly of parts which will permit water to pass through the wall of the well casing or extension thereof, and which provides access to the well and to the parts of the water system within the well in a manner to prevent entrance of pollution into the well and the water produced.
- PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM
- A system which provides water to the public for human consumption which has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year. The term is either a community or non-community system and includes collection, treatment, storage and distribution facilities under the control of the operator of the system and used in connection with the system. The term also includes a system which provides water for bottling or bulk hauling for human consumption.
- SEMI-PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY
- A water supply which services one or several facilities such as industrial or commercial establishments, parks, camps, hotels, motels, schools, institutions, eating and drinking establishments or a water supply which services two or more dwelling units and is not a public water system as defined by the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (35 P.S. 721.1 et seq.).
- Straban Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, a governmental jurisdiction or governing body represented by the Board of Township Supervisors.
- WATER WELL
- An excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving, boring or drilling to access water in underground aquifers.
- Any excavation that is drilled, cored, bored, washed, driven, dug, jetted, or otherwise constructed when the intended use of such excavation is for the location, acquisition or artificial recharge of groundwater. This includes but is not limited to test wells, test borings, and monitoring wells, in addition to wells to be utilized as individual or semi-public water supplies as well as geothermal systems.
- WELL DRILLER
- An individual or company that is licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to drill wells in Pennsylvania.
- WELL SEAL
- An approved device or method used to protect a well casing or water system from the entrance of any external pollutant at the point of entrance into the casing of a pipe, electric conduit or water level measuring device.
- WELL TAG
- A metal marking device supplied by the well driller for installation on the well cap for every new or reconstructed water well or geothermal well.
The owner of the property on which a well for domestic water geothermal wells and geothermal borehole(s) use is to be utilized shall:
Apply to the Township for a well permit, providing on the prescribed form: name and address of applicant, name and address of landowner where well is to be drilled, name and address and license number of well driller, site location and address, and proposed date for drilling to begin. A site plan (sketch) showing the location of existing or proposed buildings, driveways, septic systems within isolation distance as required by DEP, including adjoining properties, and other wells must be attached to the application.
Have all wells constructed by a qualified Pennsylvania licensed well driller to meet, at a minimum, the rules and regulations of this chapter and any administrative agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The source of supply shall be from a water-bearing formation drawn not less than 35 feet from the ground surface. Capped wells shall be located at a point free from flooding, at a higher elevation (wherever possible) and at the following minimum setback distances to existing or potential sources of pollution:
Source of Pollution
Minimum Setback Distance
Lakes, ponds, streams or other surface waters, delineated wetlands, and floodplains
Storm drains, retention basins, stabilization ponds or stormwater management facilities
Preparation area or storage area of hazardous spray materials, fertilizers or chemicals, salt piles
Gravity sewer lines and drains carrying domestic sewage or industrial waste
Septic tanks, aerobic tanks or holding tanks
Subsurface sewage disposal systems, elevated sand mounds, other sewage disposal fields
Sewage seepage pits, cesspools
Farm silos, barnyards, privies and fuel tanks
Rainwater pits, ditches
Spray irrigation sites, sewage sludge and septage disposal sites
Property lines, driveways, and private roads, and public sewer laterals
Dedicated public right-of-way
Building foundations (except for buildings enclosing water wells and/or water well pumps and any other source of pollution as approved)
Casing. All wells supplying individual or semi-public water supplies shall be equipped with watertight and durable wrought iron, steel, plastic (PVC) or other type approved casing with a minimum wall thickness of 0.1875 for iron and 0.175 for PVC (Schedule 80).
The sections of casing shall be joined together by threaded couplings or joints, welding or other watertight approved method. The casing shall be carried to a minimum depth of 20 feet finished grade and then extended an additional five feet into firm bedrock or other impervious strata and grouted in place. Casing and grouting must be compatible. Pressure grouting is required for all wells by running tremie pipe to bottom along casing. Cement concrete or bentonite is encouraged for use in grouting. Casing shall extend at least 12 inches above ground surface so that contaminated water or other substances cannot enter the well through the annular opening at the top of the well casing, wall or pipe sleeve. The borehole should be three inches larger than the outside diameter of casing to allow for grout.
In areas known to be contaminated, the minimum depth for casing shall be 40 feet. The criteria established in AWWA Standards A100-84 must be followed.
Ferrous casing. If ferrous casing is used, it shall be new pipe meeting ASTM or API specifications for water well construction. It shall be equipped with a drive shoe or other effective casing seal and have full circumference welds or threaded pipe joints.
Geothermal closed loop system: a geothermal heat exchanger that circulates a nontoxic antifreeze heat transfer fluid through a loop or multiple loops of polyethylene piping installed below the ground surface or within a surface water body. Vertical loops installed in boreholes must be installed by certified contractors and loops sealed with bentonite by pressure grouting using tremie pipes.
Geothermal open loop system: a geothermal heat exchanger that utilizes groundwater as a direct energy source. Groundwater is drawn from an aquifer through one well, passes through the heat pump's heat exchanger, and is discharged to the same aquifer through a second well at a distance from the first. Generally, two gallons to three gallons per minute per ton of capacity are necessary for effective heat exchange. Open loop geothermal wells must meet all requirements of this chapter. Groundwater used in an open loop system must be returned to the groundwater in a second well.
Nonferrous casing, If nonferrous casing is used, it shall meet appropriate ANSI, ASTM or NSF standards for water well casing applications. It shall not be driven.
Grouting: An annular space shall be provided between the well casing and the earth formation of a radius at least 1.5 inches greater than the casing radius, excluding coupling for internal pressure grouting, or 1.5 inches greater than the casing radius, excluding coupling for external grouting. It shall be completely filled with approved grout materials in one continuous operation under pressure from the bottom of the casing to the natural ground surface within 24 hours of completion of drilling. No activity in and around the well shall occur within 48 hours after grouting of the casing, or within two hours if using bentonite.
In the event that grouting is done following completion of all drilling operations, all obstructions must be completely cleared prior to placement of grout material. The casing shall be sealed by grouting a minimum of 15 feet each above and below any polluted or undesirable water-bearing zone.
During the installation of a pitless adapter, grout material may be removed from the exterior of the casing in order to provide a watertight seal between the casing and this adapter. For such an adapter, a ditch at least three feet deep will be required along with conduits, stone, dust or sand. A sanitary well cap shall be incorporated for protection from leakage and identification of the well respectively.
Packers. Packers, when used, shall be of material that will not impact taste adversely, odor, toxic substances or bacterial contamination to the well water.
Gravel packs. Gravel packs, when used, shall be 95% siliceous material and placed in uniform continuous operation. Refill pipes shall be Schedule 40 steel and in the annular opening surrounded by a minimum of 1.5 inches of grout. Protection from leakage shall be guaranteed.
Pits. Pit installations are discouraged where the casing terminates below the ground surface. If they must be used, the floor shall be a watertight reinforced concrete platform at least four inches thick and extending from the casing at least two feet in all directions. The casing shall extend upward from the floor of the pit for at least 12 inches. The walls of the pit shall be at least four inches thick of reinforced concrete or its equivalent. A durable watertight manhole, a minimum of two feet in diameter, shall be installed in the top of the pit, which also shall be a reinforced concrete slab of at least four inches in thickness. Pit installations shall not be used in flood-prone areas or fluctuating water tables, which rise within one foot of the bottom of the proposed pit. Where pipes enter the pit, the annular space between the pipes and the wall shall be effectively sealed in a watertight permanent manner.
Pitless installations. Pitless installations are those where the casing terminates above the ground surface. Where used, they shall be effectively sealed. All buried suction lines shall be encased. The access casing shall be protected against corrosion and shall extend at least 12 inches above the natural ground surface and to a point below the frost line. This area shall be designed for blockage of water, insects, and rodents. Pitless adapters cannot be installed with torch or flame, but must be installed using a hole saw or drill.
Well screens. Well screens shall provide a maximum amount of open area while still maintaining structural strength. They shall have the size of openings based on a sieve analysis to preclude entry by sand, silt, and other undesirable elements.
Well cap. A secure, screened, varmint-free, vented well cap shall be installed on all wells to prevent any surface pollutants from entering the well or any vandalism to the well or aquifer. In the event of a flowing well, the well cap must stop overflow from well. Well caps shall extend downward at least two inches over the outside of the well casing or wall. All well caps shall indicate the well driller's name, depth of well and depth of casing.
Well tag. An identification tag must be permanently attached to each new or reconstructed water well or each geothermal well. These tags shall be supplied by the well driller.
Venting. Where venting is required, an overlapping screened cover or pipe with an opening facing downward shall be required. In no case shall openings be less than 12 inches from the ground or the floor in case of pit installations.
Monitoring wells. Monitoring wells shall be designed so as to minimize potential contamination of the aquifer and to maximize the information obtained from each such well.
Heat pumps. Heat pump (geothermal) installations shall be designed and constructed to provide an effective watertight seal with the well casing or water storage reservoir and to prevent contamination from reaching the water chamber or interior pump surfaces. In closed loop systems, holes must be grouted from bottom to top with cement or bentonite. Open loop systems must conform to the same requirements as water wells.
Power pump installations. The base installed directly over a well casing or pipe sleeve shall be designed to provide an effective watertight seal. It shall be located in a flood-free area. Where power pumps are placed in pits, they shall comply with Subsection I above, and shall be ventilated with a pipe of at least 1.5 inches in diameter. The pump and related equipment shall permit convenient access, removal, maintenance and repair. The suction opening shall be placed at least two feet below the maximum drawdown of the water in the well. However, it shall be located at a sufficient distance from the bottom of the well so as to prevent agitation of accumulated sediment.
A permit is required for any existing well water supply that is to be abandoned.
Drilled wells shall be filled and sealed by cement, concrete grout or bentonite. Hand-dug wells shall be filled with clean stone to within four feet of the top of the well, then concrete to within two feet of ground level. The well driller shall send a copy to the Township of any well abandonment report prepared by the contractor for the state.
Dry wells being abandoned must be filled with clean stone and the top 18 feet filled with cement or bentonite; however, the top two feet may be covered with topsoil after any casing is removed or cut off at least two feet below ground service.
Disinfection. Following completion of construction, the well shall be pumped continuously until the water discharge is clear. It shall be filled with water containing concentration of not less than 100 parts per million of free chlorine. A portion of this solution shall be recirculated directly to the well in order to ensure proper agitation. The water shall not be used for a period of 24 hours. Other combinations of water/chlorine concentration and time interval may be used if demonstrated equally effective. Disposal of the purged water shall be at a point so as to minimize adverse effects to aquatic life and in no way directed into any subsurface sewage disposal system. One ounce of dry calcium hypochlorite dissolved in 52.5 gallons of water makes the proper strength disinfectant solution. The discharge shall not be permitted to flow into wetlands, waterways or adjoining properties.
Cross-connections: If pump and piping is not installed by a well driller, the owner is responsible for proper installation of check valves and backflow protection. Backflow protectors must be incorporated into the system and be used as needed for each outside water hose connectors. At least two check valves must be incorporated into each water system that derives water from a well. For semi-public water supplies, this device is required to be installed at any fixed potable water outlet to which a hose may be connected.
Well analysis. After well disinfection, water samples for pH, total solids, iron, nitrate-nitrogen, and coliform bacteria shall be collected and analyzed. The owner or his representative shall utilize the appropriate means and methods for sampling and stabilization, and obtain sample analysis from a certified lab. One copy of the analysis results shall be provided to the owner of the well and one copy provided to the Township.
Well construction completion report. One copy of the well driller's permit as submitted to PA USGS, as may be amended, shall be submitted to the Township. In addition, the remaining copies of this form shall be distributed as directed, including one copy to the owner. In the case of geothermal wells and boreholes, a report must be filed indicating that the well or borehole was constructed in accordance with this chapter.
Dug wells. No new dug wells will be permitted in the Township due to the great danger of pollution and the unreliability of the water supply.
No individual or semi-public water supply for human consumption shall be constructed or altered where a public water system connection is within 150 feet of the existing or proposed structure and public water service is available to that site.
Wells for agriculture or other purposes, excluding human consumption, shall be permitted regardless of public water availability.
Cross-connections between an individual or semi-public water supply and the public water system shall be prohibited.
An application fee shall be paid at the time the completed application for a well construction permit is presented to the Township office. In no case shall the application be approved prior to payment of this fee.
Upon discovery of any violation of this chapter, the Township of Straban may, at its option, forego any prosecution hereunder, and may grant to the owner a period of seven calendar days to comply with the provisions of this chapter. Upon failure of the owner to effect such compliance, the Township may initiate prosecution as hereinafter set forth.
Any person who violates or permits the violation of this chapter, any amendments hereto, or any rules and regulations established pursuant to this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, pay the fine set by the Board of Supervisors below plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees, incurred by the municipality in any enforcement proceeding. The Municipal Solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney as required under PA R. Crim. P. No. 83(c) (relating to trial and summary cases). In addition, any such person who violates or permits the violation of this chapter, its amendments, or rules and regulations promulgated pursuant hereto shall be liable for damages or restitution in any additional amount determined in such enforcement proceeding. Violations of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000. A separate offense shall arise for each day or portion thereof in which a violation is found to exist or for each section of the chapter, its amendments, or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant hereto which is found to have been violated.
In addition to any remedies provided in this chapter, any violation of §§ 135-10 and 135-11C above shall constitute a nuisance and shall be abated by the municipality or the governing body by either seeking mitigation of the nuisance, by institution of a suit or suits in equity to retrain or prevent violations of the aforesaid sections, or by seeking a mandatory preliminary injunction under any applicable law, or by seeking other legal relief from a court of competent jurisdiction.
Approval of an application and issuance of a permit for a well on the property described on the application does not constitute any guarantee or warranty by Straban Township regarding quantity or quality of water that may be obtained as a result of any well drilled under this permit. This permit provides Straban Township's approval to drill a well at the site shown on the application, and does not provide any other guarantees, approval, warranties, etc.