Potable Water Program

 

The Logan County Department of Public Health (LCDPH) through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Local Health Protection Grant operates a comprehensive potable (drinkable) water compliance program which includes, but is not limited to, the issuance of permits and regulation of construction for private, semi-private (shared) water wells and closed loop wells.  Upon completion of construction, the LCDPH conducts inspections of a new wells and collects samples to test for coliform bacteria, E. coli, nitrate and nitrite.  In addition, the LCDPH regulates the sealing of abandoned wells.

Water Well & System Construction Regulations

The LCDPH Division of Environmental Health provides regulatory enforcement for construction of water wells and water systems in areas not considered accessible to public water under the Logan County Water Supplies Ordinance which has adopted by reference the Illinois Water Well Construction Code (415 ILCS 30), Illinois Water Well Pump Installation Code (415 ILCS 35), Public Area Sanitary Practice Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 895), Drinking Water Systems Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 900) and Surface Source Water Treatment Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 930).  A public water system is deemed reasonably available when the subject property is located within 200 feet of of the public water supply to which connection is practical and is permitted by the by the controlling water supply authority.

Application for a Water Well Permit & Construction

No water well in Logan County shall be installed or deepened without first obtaining a permit from the LCDPH.  Qualified installers who apply must fully complete and submit an Application for Permit to Construct, Modify or Abandon a Water Well The permit application fee is $100.00.  Please note that Per Section 920.130 (g) of the Illinois Water Well Construction Code, the person who constructs or deepens a well shall provide notification to the LCDPH of intent to start work at least 2 days prior to commencement of work.  Such notice shall be in writing or by telephone.

Within 30 days after the well construction has been completed, the well contractor must submit a Water Well Construction Report form to the LCDPH.  A Water Well Construction Report Instruction form can be used as a tool to assist in the completion of this form.  If an Illinois licensed water well pump installation contractor installs the pump, and not the well contractor, a separate Installation Report for Water Well Pumps form must be completed and submitted to the LCDPH by the pump contractor.  Once the required paperwork is received by the LCDPH, a department environmental health representative will make arrangements with the well owner to conduct an inspection and collect a water sample.  For all regulations pertaining to water well permitting and construction in Logan County, you can refer to the Logan County Water Supplies Ordinance and the Illinois Water Well Construction Code.

Do You Have an Abandoned Well On Your Property?

Throughout the State of Illinois (Logan County included), there is an abundance of abandoned wells which once served a useful purpose that are now replaced by newer wells.  Abandoned wells can provide a direct route for surface contaminants to reach the groundwater supply and are thus a threat to this vital resource.  Furthermore, abandoned wells can pose a safety hazard.  Unfortunately, many remain undetected or property owners do not assume the responsibility to ensure these wells are properly sealed.

To eliminate the hazards, Section 920.120 (a)(1) of the Illinois Water Well Construction Code requires that owners of abandoned water wells, borings, or monitoring wells assure these structures are properly sealed within 30 days after final usage.  Wells are considered abandoned if they are no longer used or are structurally in such state of disrepair as to present a potential contamination threat to the aquifer.  By properly sealing a well, a barrier will be provided which will minimize the chances of surface contaminants reaching the aquifer.

Illinois law requires that abandoned wells be sealed by a licensed water well driller or by the owner of the property on which the well is located.  If a property owner decides to seal his/her abandoned well, permission must first be granted by the local health authority.  In order to obtain permission to seal a well, the property owner must first complete and submit to the LCDPH a Request for Water Well Sealing Approval by a Property Owner form.  Upon receipt, the department will review the request to determine whether sealing approval can be granted.  Once the application is approved, the LCDPH will forward to the property owner a copy of the approved application which will grant authorization to seal the well. 

Regardless of who seals a well, the Illinois Water Well Construction Code, Section 920.120 (e)(1), requires that the LCDPH must be provided with at least 48 hours notification in advance of when the well is to be sealed so an inspection can be scheduled.  Within 30 days after a well has been sealed, as required by law, the person sealing the well must submit to the LCDPH an Illinois Department of Public Health Water Well Sealing Form

For regulations related to sealing abandoned wells in Logan County, you can reference Section 920.120 and illustrations J through M of the Illinois Water Well Construction Code.  Please do your part by taking responsibility to address abandoned wells.  If you have questions, you can contact the LCDPH Division of Environmental Health.

Water Complaints

If you reside on a property of which you are not the owner (i.e. renting) and you have water well and/or water quality issue, you can contact the LCDPH for assistance.  In addition, if you observe a property with an abandoned well or other condition which poses a potential health hazard, you can report your concern to the LCDPH.  If an issue is reported that occurs outside of LCDPH jurisdiction, the department will assist by directing you to the proper regulating authority.

In locations where public water is served, complaints regarding water quality issues must be directed to the local water provider or municipality.  The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency maintains regulatory authority in areas where public water is provided or where a “community water system” serves multiple dwellings with at least 15 service connections and 25 residents.

Water Well Owner Tips for Maintaining a Safe Water Supply

If you rely on your own well for daily water use, it is important to properly maintain the well and keep potential sources of contamination at a distance.  First, make sure sources of contamination (i.e. chemicals, livestock, septic systems, etc.) are located far enough from your well by establishing a safety zone.  This set back may commonly range from 50 feet to over 200 feet depending on type or source of contamination.  The Illinois Water Well Construction Code addresses established regulations for minimum setback distances and your local health department can provide you with additional information.  Secondly, it is important to have your well routinely inspected by a licensed water well contractor as part of proper maintenance.  Defects such as a crack in the well cap or casing can provide a direct route for surface contaminants to enter your water supply. 

It's important to remember, as a well owner, it is your responsibility to maintain your own water system much like it is your responsibility to maintain your own property, vehicle, etc.  If you suspect a problem with your water well and have questions, you can contact the LCDPH or a licensed water well contractor for assistance.  It is important to exercise good practices and common sense when maintaining your water well system.

Test Your Water Routinely

Just because your well tested satisfactory at one time doesn’t mean you should assume the water quality is forever assured to be safe.  Water wells are not always guaranteed to provide safe water and there is always the risk contaminants can enter a water well at anytime.  Therefore, if your daily or domestic water usage comes from a water well, it is recommended you have your water tested routinely (annually) for bacteria (coliform/E. coli) and nitrate/nitrite.  Test kits for these contaminants are available at LCDPH at a cost of $15.00.  Water sampling instructions are found in the below "information" section of this page and are also included with your test kit.  If you are interested in testing your water for other specific contaminants (i.e. arsenic, atrazine, benzene, etc.), you can contact a private state-certified laboratory for additional services.

Mahomet Aquifer and Arsenic

The Mahomet Aquifer supplies water to wells serving properties primarily in the northern half of Logan County and throughout much of Central Illinois as indicated on the below map.  The aquifer location on the map is shaded in green.  In parts of the aquifer region in Logan and other counties, arsenic found in water from private wells has been detected at levels exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum contaminant level (10 parts per billion).  Arsenic is highly toxic and in drinking water has been linked to various cancers and other ailments. 

If your well receives water from this source, it is prudent to have your water well tested through a private laboratory to be sure the water you drink is safe.  For more information regarding arsenic, certified local area laboratories and water treatment options, you can refer to the Mahomet Aquifer Arsenic Alert,  IDPH Arsenic in Groundwater publication or visit the Illinois State Water Survey website at http://www.isws.illinois.edu/gws/archive/arsenic/ilsources.asp.

Image Source:  Illinois State Water Survey  

Closed Loop Well Systems

A closed loop well is a watertight loop of pipe that is buried outside a foundation of a building and is used to re-circulate a liquid solution through a heat exchanger.  This system is intended to utilize the sub-surface of the ground as a natural means to heat and cool buildings and homes to help conserve energy costs. 

Closed loop well systems can only be installed by Registered Illinois Closed Loop Well Contractors or individuals working under their supervision.  A closed loop well does not include a non-grouted horizontal well system.  Such systems do not require a health department permit to construct.

If planning to construct a grouted closed loop well system, Illinois law now requires a permit to be first obtained from the local health authority (LCDPH).  To apply for a permit, an Application for Permit to Construct, Modify or Seal a Closed Loop Well System must be completed and submitted with the proper fee to the LCDPH for approval to begin construction. 

During the construction (or sealing) process, the LCDPH must be on site to conduct an inspection to assure compliance.  Please note that per Section 920.200(f) of the Illinois Water Well Construction Code, the local health department (LCDPH) must be provided with 2 days notification from the contractor, by phone or in writing, prior to the construction (or sealing) of a closed loop well to allow the department time to schedule an inspection.  Upon completion of construction of a closed loop well system, the installer must submit to the LCDPH (within 30 days) a Closed Loop Well System Construction Report.  

For questions pertaining to closed loop well systems, you can contact the LCDPH Division of Environmental Health.  Regulations for closed loop well systems can be found in the Illinois Water Well Construction Code.

Want to Learn More About Your Water Well?

If you would like to know more about how to manage, operate and protect your private well, you can take advantage of a free online water well education program offered through the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) Water Resources Center at the University of Illinois which is funded by the Rural Community Assistance Partnership through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).  If you are interested in participating in this free water well education program and would like further details, you can visit http://www.isws.illinois.edu/hilites/press/121119privwell.asp.    

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding your water or Logan County water well regulations, contact the LCDPH Division of Environmental Health at 217-735-2317. 

Information Source:  IDPH, ISWS, USEPA                  

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