How to develop a Small Group B Water System using a well source
Checklist for the property owner
Well Location Application
Includes a plot plan of the property showing location of the well, distance from property lines and roads (public or private), and the location of any existing or potential sources of contamination. For an existing well, a well log is required (if one exists).
The Coordination Act
Requires that a proposed new public water system must first find out if a near-by existing water system can provide water service. The health department will determine if your proposed well is within another system's service area, tell you who to contact and provide you with a form that needs to be completed by that water system. If they will provide service, you will not be able to create a new water system, and must connect to that system. If they cannot provide service, then you may proceed with forming a new water system.
The Health Officer inspect the proposed well location to determine if it is in compliance, approve or disapprove the location, and notify you in writing within 30 days of receipt of the application. Approval is valid for two years. Then, the well can be drilled at the approved location.
Submitted by your designer or engineer, including: water quality data; water system operating maintenance and management agreement; covenant(s); easement; well log; and well development data. Written approval or disapproval will be sent to you and your designer.
After plan approval, install the water system. If you cannot have the system installed within two years, you may apply for a plan approval extension: the designer submits a status report and a written schedule for work completion.
Final inspection request and inspection
The request must be submitted within 60 days of completion of the water system and before the water system is used. Includes the designer's construction report (as-built drawing). The Health Officer will inspect the installation (the equipment building must be open), and notify you in writing of approval/disapproval. Also, you must submit the data base set-up fee so that the system can be established in the database.
Information for the property owner
A water system designer or engineer is required to submit the plans for a new small water system, but your knowledge of the entire process, the key elements of plan submittal, and how you can help with providing the required elements will help ensure timely review of the plans. Also, you will benefit from understanding the major components of your water system, and how they fit together to provide you and the other users with good quality water.
Source Location Application
The first step is to submit a water source location inspection request form to the Health Department, along with the application fee. A new water source can be a proposed or existing well or spring. Surface water sources, including dug wells, are reviewed by the State Department of Health. The water source inspection request form is attached. Along with this form, you must submit a plot plan of the property that shows the location of the water source, distance from property lines and roads (public or private), and the location of any existing or potential sources of contamination. Common contamination sources include drain fields, septic tanks, animal enclosures and manure piles; chemical, herbicide, and insecticide storage, and existing and abandoned landfills. For an existing well site, a well log is required (if one exists).
Formation of a new small public water system or expansion of an existing small public water system must be done in accordance with Title 12, Section 12.32.010 of the King County Board of Health, which refers to the Coordination Act. The Coordination Act (WAC 246-293-190) requires that a development proposing to create a new public water system must first find out if a near-by large water system (Group A) can provide water service. The health department will determine if your development is within a Group A system's service area, tell you who to contact and provide you with a form that needs to be completed by the larger water system. If they will provide service, you will not be able to create a new water system, and must connect to that system. If they cannot provide service, then you may proceed with forming a new water system. A copy of this section of the code is attached to the last page of this guide. Please Note: satellite system management will be required when a State Department of Health approved Satellite System Management Agency is available in King County.
The Health Officer will make a field inspection of the water source site to determine if it is in compliance with King County Board of Health Title 12 and WAC 246-291 and 246-290 requirements. Based on the inspection and the information you submitted, the Health Officer will approve or disapprove the water source site, and notify you in writing within 30 days of receipt of the application form. If disapproved, the Health Officer will tell you why the site is not suitable. A water source site approval is valid for two years from the approval date. If plans are not submitted within two years, another site review will be required.
After approval of water source site by the Health Officer, the next step is to have your designer or engineer submit complete plans and specifications that describe the proposed water system or project, along with the plan review fee. The design must be done by a professional engineer or a registered sanitarian. A certified water system designer may submit the plans if the system is a simple well and pressure tank system containing a single pressure zone (no additional "booster" pump is required); no water treatment is required; special hydraulic considerations are not involved; and the construction documents submitted by the designer conform to DOH guidelines.
The plans and specifications must be submitted in a water supply workbook signed by the system designer or engineer, the "Guideline for Group B Public Water System Approval." The key elements are:
Name, address and phone number of owner.
Name of system designer/engineer, and phone number.
Name, address and phone number of individual who has operating responsibility for the system.
Detailed construction drawings, which must conform to Title 12, DOH guidelines, and the draft policy/procedure on construction documents.
General layout of the system including elevations, distribution line sizes, valving, source and reservoir locations.
Water right permit number when developing a new source or increasing the capacity of an existing source that will use over 5,000 gpd (more than six connections) or irrigating more than ½ acre total (required by RCW 90.44.050 and RCW 90.03.250).
Water Quality Data (Chemical and Bacterial):
Chemical - An initial complete inorganic chemical and physical analysis of the primary and secondary chemical and physical standards must be provided per WAC 246-291-330, 246-290-310. This analysis tests for: arsenic, barium cadmium, chromium, fluoride, lead, mercury, nitrate (as "N"), selenium, silver, sodium, turbidity, chloride, color, copper, hardness, iron, manganese, specific conductivity, sulfate*, total dissolved solids*, and zinc. (*Testing for these are only required when specific conductivity exceeds 700 micromhos/centimeter.)
Bacterial - Submit the results of an initial bacteriological test sample of water from the proposed water source which meets the requirements of WAC 246-291-320 and 246-290-310. This test must be taken from the water system source after development.
VOC. An initial test for volatile organic compounds.
For spring sources - Additional monitoring is required, see below.
NOTE: Samples must be submitted to an approved lab (list attached). Sample bottles for bacterial tests only may be purchased at district offices for analysis by the Health Department lab.
A Water System Operating Maintenance and Management Agreement for this water system which is binding and enforceable on all parties, their heirs, successors and assignees, and the lots which are served by the system. This Agreement will be recorded on the deed of all lots included in the Agreement. The Agreement must provide (as a minimum):
Ownership of the water source and system, including all parties and lots who have the right of usage of this water source and system along with the number of service connections each is allowed. The Agreement must state whether or not the parties have the right to use the water for irrigation purposes;
Provision for assessing water system owners and users for the installation and maintenance costs of the water source and water system, including the expense of water quality sampling as required by WAC 246-291-300 through 360, 246-290-300 and Title 12;
Specification of the contamination sources which cannot be placed within the required protective radius of the water source;
Responsibility for maintenance and repair of pipeline;
Restriction of furnishing water to additional parties without health officer approval;
Provision for continuation and reliability of water service in accordance with WAC 246-291-240 and 250, 246-290-420 and 430;
Procedures for election or selection of a water purveyor to manage the water system. The purveyor's responsibilities include the taking and submitting of all necessary samples for water quality, handling of emergencies such as system shutdown, and shall serve as a contact person for the health officer when problems with the water system arise. The purveyor shall be responsible for notifying the health officer and all parties included in the Agreement of the results of the water quality tests.
Provision for enforcement of the Agreement on non-conforming parties.
The water system purveyor's name, address and telephone number (where he/she can be reached twenty-four hours a day) must be provided to the health officer every year.
Covenant(s). Provide a recorded copy of a document that establishes a protective area around the water source as follows: 100 foot radius for wells, 200 foot radius for springs (except as otherwise provided in WAC 246-291-100(4)). Sample forms are available at the Health Department district offices.
Easement. Provide an easement for the water line(s) from the water source to all service connections, and the recording number of this document. Include in the easement area provision for location of and access to water storage reservoirs, well house (equipment building), pressure tanks, and other facilities and equipment of this water system.
Well System Information:
Well log (well construction report). This includes information and/or drawings showing the well housing, pump location, diameter of well, depth of completed well, depth of casing installed, location and type of screens or perforations, location and depth of all cement grout or other formation seals;
Detailed construction plans to include, if pertinent, provisions for air line, gauge, vent, and metering equipment, sampling tap, and provisions for emergency chlorination, including fittings for insertion of chlorine or adaptation and inclusion of a chlorinator;).
Well development data to include static water level (feet or meters), yield (gallons/minute or liters/minute), the amount of drawdown (feet or meters), recovery rate (feet/time or meters/time) and duration of pumping. Wells shall be pump tested per requirement of WAC 246-291-100 (2)(c) and 246-290-130 (1)(n). If drawdown stabilization does not occur after an extended period of pumping, additional geological investigation as specified by the health officer shall be performed to determine sustained yield; and
Results of a second bacteriological sample taken after all equipment is installed (pumps, pressure tanks, etc.) and the disinfecting agent is completely flushed from the system. These samples must not exceed the maximum contaminant levels for coliform bacteria as defined in WAC 246-291-320 and 246-290-310.
Spring System Information: Seasonal data on the water quality and quantity for the proposed spring source is required. This is to demonstrate bacterial quality of the water during minimum and maximum seasonal water flows, and insure an adequate water flow at the source year round. The data must include:
Minimum and maximum measured water flows of the source over a one year time period. A minimum of six evenly spaced flow tests must be conducted each calendar quarter (three month time period) of the year.
Raw water bacteriological samples. A minimum of six samples must be taken from the source over a one year period, with no more than one test per month and including one test per each calendar quarter (three month time period) of the year. These samples must not exceed the maximum contaminant level for coliform bacteria as defined in WAC 246-291-320 and 246-290-310.
Detailed construction plans to include depth of spring source, source development details (reservoir and spring box construction, location, type of screens or perforation, location and depth of all cement grout or other seals to prevent surface water intrusion into the spring box, provisions for emergency chlorination, provision for spring recharge area control to prevent emergency contamination of the source), and other information as specified in WAC 246-291-110 and 246-290-120.
The Health Officer will notify you and your designer in writing when the plans have been approved. If the plans are disapproved, your designer will receive a written disapproval and reasons for the disapproval, you will receive a copy of this letter. You will have two years after the date of plan approval to complete the water system construction, have the system inspected, and submit the engineer or designer's construction plans (as-built drawing) to the Health Department. If the water system has not been completed within 2 years of the original date of the letter of approval and you have not requested an extension of approval as described below, the approval of the plans and specifications will become null and void.
An extension of the plan approval may be obtained by having the Designer or Professional Engineer submit a status report which includes a written schedule for work completion, together with a nonrefundable fee. The Health Officer may require updated or revised plans and specifications which are in accordance with applicable current regulations and design standards provided that in the opinion of the Health Officer, any construction which has taken place will not be affected by the required changes in the plans and specifications. Failure to comply with the written schedule may result in the extended approval becoming null and void.
Final inspection request and inspection
Within 60 days of completion of the water system, and prior to use of any portion of the water system, you or your designer must request a final inspection of the water system by the Health Officer. Your water system designer's construction report (as-built drawing) and the final inspection fee must be submitted along with this request.
The construction report/as built drawing must be signed by a Designer or Professional Engineer, and state whether the project has been constructed in accordance with approved plans and specifications, and that the installation, testing and disinfection of the system were carried out in accordance with WAC 246-291, 246-290 and Title 12.
The Health Officer will inspect the system upon receipt of the above, and approve or disapprove the entire water system, and the as built/construction report. You must submit the database set-up fee so that the system can be established in the database.
After approval of the construction report (as-built) of the complete system, the system purveyor shall be responsible for submittal of the required routine bacterial and chemical samples as specified in WAC 246-291-320 through 350, and 246-290-300. The sampling frequency for Group B systems is: one bacterial sample every 12 months and one nitrate sample every 36 months. These sampling frequencies are a minimum, and more frequent sampling may be required. An identification number will be assigned to this water supply following approval. It is important that this number be included on all sampling forms associated with routine samples for water from this system.
CHAPTER 12.32 - WATER SERVICE REQUIREMENTS
12.32.010. Required Connection to an Existing Public Water Supply.
The owner or occupant of lands or premises undertaking new construction or other new development for which an approved public water source shall be required must connect to an approved public water system when all of the following conditions are met:
Any part of the lands or premises are located within either:
The boundaries of an existing public water system as described in an approved Water Comprehensive Plan as required by King County Code 13.24, or
A service area as described by an adopted Coordinated Water System Plan for those systems which are not required to prepare a Comprehensive Plan by King County Code 13.24.
The public water system must meet the water quality requirements of WAC 246-290-300 through 330.
The purveyor of the existing public water supply is able and willing to provide service in a timely and reasonable manner, as per WAC 246-293-190, including the latest revisions or amendments thereof.
For pre-application approval of a subdivision, short subdivision, rezone or lot line adjustment, the health officer must receive the following information:
For existing public water supplies, a copy of a certificate of water availability from the purveyor of the public water supply;
For a proposed public water supply, a request for approval of the water source site location, a recorded copy of a declaration of covenant, restrictive covenant(s) (if applicable), waterline easements and a water-use agreement; and
For the use of private wells, documentation that all lots are five acres or larger in size.
For final approval of a subdivision, short subdivision, rezone or lot line adjustment, the health officer must receive the following information:
For Group A or B (as defined in 12.04.030) water systems, approved construction documents, a copy of the acknowledgment of inspection and an as-built drawing of the completed system;
For Group A or B (not as defined in 12.04.030) water systems, a copy of a letter from the water utility which states that the system has been installed and approved or that a contract or bond assures completion of the system; and
For the use of private wells, documentation that all lots are five acres or larger in size, and that the source must be developed and meet the minimum production requirements per Title 19 KCC.
All lots created by a subdivision, short subdivision, rezone or lot line adjustment which are less than five acres in size and were created after May 18, 1972 must be served by an approved public water supply which is current in its sampling requirements.
12.32.020. Critical Water Supply Service Areas.
Development or expansion of water systems in critical water supply service areas shall be in accordance with WAC 246-293-190 and the approved coordinated water system plan for that area.
The declared critical water supply service areas are: Vashon/Maury Island; Skyway; South King County; and East King County. These areas boundaries are shown in chapter 12.44.
All information is general in nature and is not intended to be used as a substitute for appropriate professional advice. For more information, please call 206-296-4600 (voice) or TTY Relay: 711 or toll-free, 800-325-6165. Mailing address: 401 5th Ave., Suite 1300, Seattle, WA 98104 or click here to email us. Because of confidentiality concerns, questions regarding client health issues cannot be responded to by e-mail. Please read the Notice of Privacy Practices. For more information, contact the Public Health Privacy Office at 206-263-8255.