PRIVATE WELL REGULATIONS – BY TOWN IN MASSACHUSETTS
The SafeWell PWR (Private Well Regulations) App is designed to help real estate professionals and their clients understand the water testing requirements and best practices related to buying or selling a home with a private well in a specific town in Massachusetts. Unacceptable drinking water quality could be a deal-breaker for a property buyer, complicate a deal if you are a seller, and, most importantly, be potentially dangerous for a homeowner’s family.
Depending on the town where the property is located, there may be different requirements related to testing and maintaining the private well water supply. Local Boards of Health have regulatory authority for private wells under the guidance of MassDEP; they typically focus on requirements for constructing and testing new wells; however, more Boards of Health are adopting rules related to water quality testing related to property transfer, as well as for periodic testing of existing wells to ensure ongoing water quality. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) has published Private Well Guidelines as well as Model Board of Health Regulations for Private Wells which many Boards of Health use as the foundation for their own rules.
It is important that all water quality and quantity testing be performed by a water quality and water system expert; all drinking water samples must be analyzed by a state-certified laboratory.
While many private wells provide safe drinking water, certain pollutants like bacteria, nitrates, arsenic, iron, manganese and radon can be present in groundwater at levels that can affect the quality of drinking water coming into the home.