Township of Lower Mount Bethel, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 1]
This Part shall be known and may be cited as the "Lower Mount Bethel Township Well Construction Standards Ordinance."
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 2]
The purpose of this Part is to ensure and protect the quality and suitability of individual water supply systems by requiring that a permit be obtained prior to the construction of individual water supply and semi-public water supply systems and wells, production wells, test wells and monitoring wells; and to establish minimum construction standards for the location, installation, replacement, modification, reactivation or abandonment of these systems.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 3]
This Part applies to all individual water supply and semi-public water supply systems, as each of these terms is defined by this Part and all wells that have not been completed, or that are not in operation or are not in an operable condition at the time of the effective date of this Part. Additionally, this Part shall apply to all alterations (as defined herein) to an existing well. Public water systems (as defined by this Part) are exempt from this Part. This Part shall not apply to routine maintenance and/or minor repairs to keep an existing well in proper working order.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 4; as amended by Ord. 2016-04, 10/17/2016, § I]
The following words and terms when used in this Part shall have the following meaning 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in such a state of disrepair that continued use for the purpose of obtaining groundwater is impracticable, or which has been replaced by a new well or public water supply.
ALTERATION
Any action which necessitates entering a well with drilling tools, including but not limited to remedying a partial or total collapse of a well; treating a well to increase yield, altering the physical structure or depth of the well; blasting; removal, repair 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.
ANSI
American National Standards Institute.
API
American Petroleum Institute.
AQUIFER
A geological formation that contains and transmits water.
ASTM
American Society for Testing Materials.
AWWA
American Water Works Association.
BACK SIPHONAGE
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.
CASING
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.
COLIFORM
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 at least 15 service connections used by year round residents or regularly serves at least twenty-five-year round residents.
CONSTRUCTION OF WELLS
All acts necessary to obtain groundwater, or artificially recharge groundwater and to install a geothermal well. 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.
CONTRACTOR
Any individual, partnership, company, association, corporation, group or entity employed, hired, contracted or otherwise engaged by the owner to perform defined services for compensation, including, but not limited to, a well driller.
CROSS-CONNECTION
An arrangement allowing either direct or indirect connection through which backflow, including back siphonage, can occur between the drinking water in a public water system and a system containing a potential source of contamination.
DEP
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
FLOWING WELL
A well that yields water by artesian pressure at the ground surface.
GEOTHERMAL WELL
A well, sometimes referred to as a geothermal heat pump, ground source heat pump or ground heat pump, that pumps heat to or from the ground consisting of narrow pipes drilled into the ground, a ground heat exchanger, a heat pumping unit and ductwork into a building.
GROUNDWATER
Water within the earth below the water table within the zone of satisfaction. Groundwater includes both water under water table conditions and confined within deep aquifers.
GROUT
A permanent watertight joint or connection made by filling with concrete, neat cement or bentonite material between the casing and the undisturbed formation surrounding the well or between two strings of casing. Grouting materials shall conform to AWWA standards, as the same may be amended from time to time.
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.
NSF
National Sanitation Foundation.
NON-COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEMS
A public water system which is not a community water system.
OWNER
Any person responsible for a subject property, including, but not limited to, the record owner, a tenant and any other person vested with sole or partial, legal or equitable ownership of property located in the Township.
PERSON
Any individual, public or private corporation for profit or not for profit, association, partnership, firm, trust, estate, department, board, bureau or agency of the commonwealth or the Federal Government, political subdivision, municipality, district, authority, or any other legal entity whatsoever which is recognized by law.
PITLESS ADAPTOR
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
As defined by the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act, 35 P.S. § 721.1 et seq., 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.
SEWAGE SLUDGE
The solid, semi-solid, or liquid residue generated during the treatment of: (1) domestic sewage (waste and wastewater from humans or household operations that is discharged to or otherwise enters a treatment works) in a treatment works; (2) biosolids; (3) waste and wastewater generated from industrial operations, hospitals and medical facilities, fracking liquids and fluids in a treatment works; and (4) and any other liquids, semi-solids, solids or materials that may enter into a treatment works. Sewage sludge includes, but is not limited to, the materials resulting from the treatment of domestic septage, scum or solids removed in primary, secondary, or advanced wastewater treatment processes and a material derived from sewage sludge. Sewage sludge does not include ash generated during the firing of sewage sludge in a sewage sludge incinerator or grit and screenings generated during preliminary treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works. In the event that any state or federal statute, law, order, rule or regulation expands the definition of sewage sludge, or term of similar meaning, in the future, the definition found in this Part shall be automatically deemed to be expanded to include all of the materials included in the expanded definition. In the event that a state or federal statute, law, order, rule or regulation purports to narrow the definition of sewage sludge, or term of similar meaning, to exclude items that are otherwise included in the definition of sewage sludge in this Part, this Part shall not be deemed to have been amended and the Part's more broad definition shall continue to apply.
TOWNSHIP
Lower Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
WELL
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 or as a geothermal well. This includes, but is not limited to, test wells, test borings, and monitoring wells, in addition to wells to be utilized as individual water supplies or semi-public water supplies.
WELL DRILLER
An individual or company that is permitted or 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 Township for installation on the well seal or well cap for every new or replacement water well, or geothermal well.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 5; as amended by Ord. 2016-04, 10/17/2016, § I]
1. 
The owner of the property on which a well for domestic water use and/or a geothermal well is to be utilized shall:
A. 
Prior to construction of a well or undertaking any alteration to a well, apply to the Township for a well installation permit, providing, on the prescribed form: name and address of applicant, name and address of owner of the land where the well is to be drilled, name and address and license number of the well driller, site location and address of the property where the well is to be drilled and proposed date for drilling to begin. A site plan (sketch) drawn to scale showing the location and identification of existing or proposed buildings, structures, improvements, driveways, septic systems, and other wells within 100 feet of the proposed well and showing the location of any land application of sewage sludge sites, including, but not limited to, storage and/or placement, within 300 feet of the proposed well must be attached to the application. The site plan need not be prepared by an engineer or surveyor so long as it is prepared to scale. At the time the application is presented to the Township for review, the applicant shall pay the application fee as established by resolution of the Township from time to time. In no case will the application be accepted for review prior to payment of the applicable fee. The Township's Certified Code Official shall be responsible for reviewing the application and notifying the owner and Township Zoning Officer whether the application complies with the requirements of this Part or whether there are deficiencies that must be addressed by the owner prior to approval of the application.
B. 
Have all wells constructed by a qualified Pennsylvania licensed well driller to meet, at a minimum, the rules and regulations of this Part and any administrative agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
C. 
Coordinate with the Township for inspection of the well by the Township's Certified Code Official upon completion of the well and submit any relevant information or data concerning the constructed well to the Township, including a signed well completion report and a copy of well water test results obtained from the well driller to permit the Township to determine whether construction of the well complied with the requirements of this Part.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 6; as amended by Ord. 2016-04, 10/17/2016, § I]
The source of supply shall be from a water bearing formation drawn not less than 35 feet from the ground surface. Wells shall be located at a point free from flooding, at a higher elevation 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
25 feet (measured from the top of the adjacent bank, if applicable)
Storm drains, retention basins, stabilization ponds stormwater management facilities
25 feet (measured or from the top of the adjacent bank, if applicable)
Preparation area or storage area of hazardous spray materials, fertilizers of chemicals, salt piles
100 feet
Gravity sewer lines and drains carrying domestic sewage or industrial waste
50 feet
Septic tanks, aerobic tanks or holding tanks
50 feet
Subsurface sewage disposal systems, elevated sand mounds, other sewage disposal fields (excluding sewage sludge disposal)
100 feet
Sewage seepage pits, cesspools
100 feet
Farm silos, barnyards, privies and fuel tanks
100 feet
Rainwater pits, ditches
25 feet
Spray irrigation sites
100 feet
Property lines, driveways, drainage and utility easements and private roads
10 feet
Dedicated public right-of-way
25 feet
Building foundations (except for buildings enclosing water wells and/or water well pumps)
10 feet*
Land application of Sewage Sludge sites, including but not limited to storage and/or placement
300 feet
NOTES:
*
Wells may be installed at a location that is less than the required minimum horizontal separation distance of 10 feet between the proposed well and a building foundation, provided that the owner obtains all other required permits and approvals to install the well at the proposed location and delivers to the Township a Declaration of Indemnification Obligations and Covenant Running with the Land (Location and Setbacks — Well Construction Standards Ordinance) in recordable form provided by the Township, which declaration shall be recorded at the Northampton County Recorder of Deeds Office at the expense of the applicant and shall run with the land upon which the well is installed.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 7; as amended by Ord. 2016-04, 10/17/2016, § I]
1. 
Casing.
A. 
All wells supplying an individual water supply or semi-public water supply and all geothermal wells shall be equipped with watertight and durable casing of wrought iron, steel or plastic (PVC) with a minimum wall thickness of 0.1875 for iron and 0.175 for PVC (Schedule 80) or such other thickness as may be established from time to time by AWWA Standard A100.
B. 
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 40 feet and then extended an additional 10 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 the bottom of and along the casing. Cement, concrete or bentonite are required for use in grouting. Casing shall extend at least eight inches above ground surface. The bore hole shall be at least three inches larger than the outside diameter of the casing to allow for grout.
C. 
In areas known to be contaminated, the minimum depth for casing shall be 40 feet. The criteria established in AWWA Standards A100-84, as the same may be amended from time to time, must be followed.
2. 
Well Depth. The minimum drilled depth for any water well is 80 feet from surface of the ground.
3. 
Ferrous Casing. Ferrous casing 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. This requirement shall also apply to geothermal well construction.
4. 
Non-Ferrous Casing. Non-ferrous casing shall meet appropriate ANSI, ASTM or NSF standards for water well casing applications. It shall not be driven. This requirement shall also apply to geothermal well construction.
5. 
Grouting.
A. 
An annular space shall be provided between the well casing and the earth formation. It shall be completely filled with grout 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 is permitted to occur within 48 hours after grouting of the casing, or within two hours if using bentonite.
B. 
All obstructions must be completely cleared prior to placement of grout material. The casing shall be sealed by grouting to a minimum of 15 feet each above and below the polluted or undesirable water-bearing zone.
C. 
During the installation of a pitless adaptor, grout material may be removed from the exterior of the casing in order to provide a watertight seal between the casing and this adaptor. For such an adaptor, 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.
6. 
Packer. Packers when used shall be of material that will not adversely impact taste or odor or introduce toxic substances or bacterial contamination into the well water.
7. 
Gravel Packs. Gravel packs when used shall be 95% siliceous material and placed in uniform continuous operation. Refill pipes shall be Schedule 40 Steel. The annular opening shall be surrounded by a minimum of 1 1/2 inches of grout. Protection from leakage shall be guaranteed by the contractor.
8. 
Pits. Pit installations are not permitted.
9. 
Pitless Installations.
A. 
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 eight 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.
B. 
Pitless adaptors cannot be installed with torch or flame, but must be installed using hole saw or drill.
10. 
Well Screens. Well screens shall provide 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.
11. 
Well Cap. Install a secure, screened, varmint free well cap 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 the well.
12. 
Well Tag. An identification tag must be permanently attached to each new or replacement water well or each geothermal well. These tags will be issued by the Township after the completion report and well analysis required by this Part are delivered to the Township and demonstrate compliance with the terms hereof and the Township's Certified Code Official has completed an inspection of the well to determine that the work was completed in accordance with the requirements of this Part.
13. 
Venting. Where venting is required, an overlapping cover or pipe with an opening facing downward shall be required. In no case shall openings be less than 12 inches from the ground.
14. 
Monitoring Wells. Monitoring wells shall be designed such as to minimize potential contamination of the aquifer and to maximize the information obtained from each such well.
15. 
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. Power pumps shall not be placed in pits. 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.
16. 
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 insure proper agitation. The water shall not be used for a period of 24 hours to allow sufficient contact time to disinfect the system. Other combinations of water/chlorine concentration and time interval may be used if demonstrated equally effective to the satisfaction of the Township's dully appointed representative. 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. Geothermal wells are excluded from this disinfection requirement.
17. 
Cross-Connections.
A. 
If pump and piping is not installed by the well driller, the owner and its contractor are 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.
B. 
A cross-connection prevention assembly shall be provided. 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.
18. 
Well Analysis. After well disinfection, the owner or its representative shall collect and have water samples analyzed for pH, total solids, iron, nitrate-nitrogen, and coliform bacteria. The owner or its 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. If the well analysis demonstrates that the water samples comply with this Part and the completion report addressed in Subsection 19 of this Part has been submitted and accepted, the Township shall issue the well tag and the owner or contractor shall affix the well tag to the well. Geothermal wells are excluded from this analysis requirement.
19. 
Completion Report. The owner or its representative shall submit one copy of DCNR's water well completion report form 8700-FM-TG-5001S, as may be amended, to the Township for review and approval. In addition, distribute the remaining copies of this form as directed including one copy to the owner. In the case of geothermal wells, a report must be filed indicating the well was constructed in accordance with this Part.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 8]
1. 
A permit is required for any existing well that is to be abandoned. At the time the application is presented to the Township for review, the applicant shall pay the application fee as established by resolution of the Township from time to time. Drilled wells shall be filled and sealed by cement, concrete or bentonite grout. Hand dug wells shall be filled with clean stone to within 10 feet of the top of the well, then concrete shall be placed to within two feet of ground level. The top two feet may be covered with topsoil.
2. 
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.
3. 
After the well has been filled as required by this section, the contractor shall submit all relevant information or data concerning the abandonment to the Township for review and approval by the Township.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 9]
1. 
No individual water supply or semi-public water supply for human consumption shall be constructed or altered where a public water system connection is within 250 feet of the existing or proposed structure and public water service is available to that site.
2. 
Wells for agriculture or other purposes not involving human consumption, shall be permitted regardless of public water availability.
3. 
Cross-connections between an individual water supply system or a semi-public water supply system and the public water system shall be prohibited.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 10]
1. 
Any person who violates any provision of this Part or any order issued pursuant to this Part commits a summary offense and shall upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, together with costs, for each separate offense. In default of payment of such fine, the defendant shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of time not to exceed 10 days for each separate offense. The Township Solicitor's office may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney as required under the applicable Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure relating to trial in summary cases. All fines and penalties collected for any violation of this Part shall be paid to the Township and delivered to the Township Treasurer for deposit.
A. 
Each day or any portion thereof in which a violation is found to exist shall be considered a separate offense under this Part. Likewise, each section of this Part which is found to be violated shall be considered a separate offense.
B. 
Upon discovery of any violation of this Part, the Township may, in its sole and absolute discretion, forego any prosecution hereunder, and may grant to the owner a period of 30 calendar days to comply with the provisions of this Part. Upon failure of the owner to effect such compliance, the Township may initiate prosecution as hereinabove set forth.
C. 
The Township's Certified Code Official, Zoning Officer or other agent designated by the Township from time to time ("Enforcing Official") shall have the power and duty to administer and enforce the provisions of this Part.
(1) 
The Enforcing Official may issue such orders as are necessary to aid in the enforcement of the provisions of this Part. These orders may include, but shall not be limited to, orders requiring persons to cease unlawful use of a well which is in violation of any provision of this Part, orders to take corrective action, orders to abate a public nuisance and/or orders requiring production of information.
(2) 
An order issued under this section shall take effect upon written notice, unless the order specifies otherwise or a timely appeal of such order is filed.
(3) 
The authority of the Enforcing Official to issue an order under this section is in addition to any remedy or penalty that may be imposed pursuant to this Part.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 11]
1. 
While this Part contains the minimum standards for the protection of the public welfare, the Township may modify the minimum standards as necessary to serve the public interest of the Township and its citizens.
A. 
If the literal enforcement of any provision of this Part will exact undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to applicant's land or the nature of the application, the Township Board of Supervisors may grant a modification or waiver in writing to such applicant.
B. 
All requests for modifications or waivers shall be in writing, be signed by the applicant and shall accompany and be a part of the application. The request shall state in full the grounds and facts upon which the request is based, the provision or provisions of the ordinance involved, and the minimum modification necessary. Any request for modification or waiver may be referred to the Planning Commission for advisory comments at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 12]
Nothing in this Part shall preclude the Township from independently ordering any person causing a public nuisance to abate the public nuisance. In the event that the person fails to abate the public nuisance, the Township shall have the authority to enter upon the property and abate the public nuisance or to institute a suit or suits in law or in equity to restrain or prevent violations of this Part, including, but not limited to, seeking a preliminary injunction under the applicable provisions of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, or by seeking other legal relief from a court of competent jurisdiction. The Township shall be entitled to recover the expenses of abatement and all reasonable attorneys' fees.
[Ord. 2012-01, --/--/2012, § 13]
1. 
Approval of any application and issuance of a permit for construction of a well shall not constitute any guarantee or warranty by the Township regarding quantity or quality of water that may be obtained as a result of any well drilled under the permit. The permit only provides the Township's approval to drill a well at the site shown on the application, and does not provide any other guarantees, approval, warranties, etc.
2. 
The Township, and its boards, committees and commissions, their elected and appointed officials and their employees, contractors and other professional consultants, engineers, solicitors, managers, representatives, advisors, predecessors, successors, agents, independent contractors, insurers and assigns shall not be liable or responsible for damages to any person or property caused by, resulting from, relating to or arising out of the issuance of any permit under this Part or by reason of the conduct of any activity undertaken pursuant to this Part.