According to recommendations by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a septic tank should be at least 50 feet away from a well that is used for drinking water.
How far should a septic tank be from a well?
The distance between the septic tank and borewell is 15 ft and the dimension of the septic tank is 11X6X7 ft.
How far should a septic tank be from a water course?
Your septic tank, when draining into a drainage field, should be positioned at least 10 metres from any watercourse.
What is the minimum distance in meters of a well from a septic tank?
At least 15m from the nearest water supply. This is a minimum and should be more if the ground is rocky and fissures could take the outflow further. It should be at least 3m from the nearest building. Avoid areas where rainwater would stand or flow over the tank or vehicles could drive over it.
How far away from a well can you build?
As a general guidance, personal drinking water wells should have a minimum horizontal distance of at least 10 feet and preferably 25 feet from such boundaries.
What is the minimum distance should be kept between well and toilet pit?
The pits can be located at a minimum distance of 10 m from the drinking water sources, such as tubewells and dugwells if the ES of the soil is 0·2 mm or less; and.
Does heavy rain affect septic tank?
It is common to have a septic back up after or even during a heavy rain. Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drainfield) leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.
Are septic tanks still legal?
Septic Tanks Explained… Septic tanks cannot discharge to surface water drains, rivers, canals, ditches, streams or any other type of waterway. you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.
Do you need building regulations for a septic tank?
The short answer is yes. You will need planning permission from a local authority in order to have a septic tank installed, no matter if it’s at your own home or on a business site.
How close to a well can you build Ontario?
Your well and all neighbors’ wells should be 100 feet or further from the septic system. There must also be enough land for a “repair area” that can be used if the system needs expansion or replacement in the future.
How far does a septic tank have to be from a well in Texas?
The required separation distance between a water well and septic systems is 50 feet from a septic tank and 100 feet from drain fields or spray areas with minimum well construction specifications met. The Texas Natural Resource Information Services (TNRIS) maintains grid maps.
Can a homeowner install a septic system in Texas?
It is legal under Texas law to install your own septic tank. However, certain systems cannot be sold to property owners individually and must be sold to factory representatives. Exceptions to this rule are licensed electricians and the person who delivers the tank or septic system to the installation site.
Can you put a shed near a well?
You’ll be fine throwing a wood shed closer to your well. You’d be fine if you built the thing right on top (don’t of course). My drilled well here is only 42 feet but it’s the best water and the shallowest I’ve had from the 3 wells I’ve had.
How far can a pump be from a well?
These pumps deliver an average of 19 GPH and can lift water from wells that are 200 feet deep. You can expect their pipes to run between 30 and 150 feet, depending on material availability and the needs of your home.
How deep should a well be for drinking water?
The quality of your water depends on several factors including geology and water levels. In order to allow for maximum ground filtration to remove impurities, your well depth should be at least 100 feet. As a general rule, the deeper you drill, it’s more likely that there will be minerals present.
What is the recommended distance between a private water well and a septic tank?
|What should not be flushed through a septic system?
- Grease, oils, or fats from cooking
- Paints and paint thinners
- Disinfectants and other household chemicals
Setback Distance From Septic to Drinking Water Well – Drinking Water and Human Health
To treat and dispose of wastewater, or sewage, many rural people install on-site wastewater treatment systems (also known as individual septic systems) on their property. Among the impurities found in residential wastewater include disease-causing bacteria, contagious viruses, common household chemicals, and excess nutrients. By designing, installing, and maintaining a septic treatment system appropriately, the danger of contaminating the drinking water supply with these toxins is reduced significantly.
- A septic tank and soil absorption system is a wastewater treatment technology that is allowed in a number of jurisdictions.
- Alternative technologies may also be permitted in some cases.
- When it comes to protecting a private drinking water supply from pollution, while minimal setbacks are important, higher separation lengths are frequently preferable in many cases.
- The minimum setback requirements in Nebraska will be utilized as an example.
- A residential lagoon must be at least 100 feet away from a private drinking water well in order to be allowed to operate.
- Always verify your local legislation to ensure that the minimum setback distances are met in your neighborhood.
How far away does a well need to be from a septic system in Florida?
The Florida Department of Health specifies a minimum distance of 75 feet between a private well for potable (drinking) water and a septic system in order to ensure proper sanitation. In the case of a public well, a greater distance is required, which varies depending on the number of gallons per day produced, whereas just 50 feet is required for a non-potable well (sprinkler system, for example). The following is how it is expressed in Chapter 64E-6.005 of the Florida Administrative Code: The location and installation of the equipment.
- It is prohibited to discharge sewage waste and effluent from on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems directly or indirectly onto the ground surface, or to discharge sewage waste and effluent into ditches, drainage structures, ground waters, surface waters, or aquifers.
- The location must be within two hundred feet of a public drinking water well, as defined in paragraph 64E-6.002(44)(b), Florida Administrative Code, if the well serves a facility with an anticipated sewage discharge of more than 2000 gallons per day.
- Other states may have different requirements for the distance between a septic system and a well.
- In most cases, once you have located the well, you will find that it is located to one side of the house and on the other side of the house.
- See the following blog pages for further information about SEPTIC TANK SYSTEMS: In Florida, what is the shortest distance between a septic tank and a house?
- What can I put in my septic tank to make it run more efficiently?
- What is the best way to determine if a residence is linked to a septic tank system or a sewer system?
- What is a grinder pump, and how does it work?
- In the event that my septic tank overflows into my home, should I call a plumber or a septic tank contractor?
- What happened to the septic tank?
- It is possible for a house to have more than one septic tank.
If the washing machine drain is diverted to a nearby piece of ground in the yard, is this permissible? Visit ourSEPTIC TANK SYSTEMSandWELLSpages for further blog entries on this topic, or go to theINDEXfor a comprehensive listing of all of our articles on the subject.
How Far Should You Put the Septic Tank From the House?
The Florida Department of Health specifies a minimum distance of 75 feet between a private well for potable (drinking) water and a septic system in order to be considered safe for consumption. In the case of a public well, a longer distance is required, which varies depending on the number of gallons per day produced, whereas just 50 feet is required for a non-potable well (sprinkler system, for example). The following is how it is expressed in Chapter 64E-6.005 of Florida’s Administrative Code: Choosing a location and putting it up Everything must be situated and placed in such a way that, with regular maintenance, the systems perform properly, do not cause sanitary nuisances or health concerns, and do not compromise the safety of any residential water supply, groundwater, or surface water.
It is necessary to take the following steps to avoid such discharges and health risks: System and septage stabilization facilities that are constructed after the effective date of the rule must be located no closer than the minimum distances specified for the following: (1) If the public drinking water well is located within one hundred feet of a facility with an estimated sewage flow of 2000 gallons or less per day, the distance between the two points is reduced to seventy-five feet under Florida Administrative Code section 64E-6.002(44)(a) or one hundred feet under Florida Administrative Code section 64E-6.002(44)(c).
- A public drinking water well, as defined in paragraph 64E-6.002(44)(b), F.A.C., must be located within two hundred feet of any facility that has an estimated sewage discharge of more than 2000 gallons per day.
- Additionally, if you are looking for the septic system in a home that you are contemplating purchasing, having this essential distance might be beneficial to your search.
- Please see our blog article for further information on locating the septic tank and drainfield.
- See the following blog pages for further information about SEPTIC TANK SYSTEMS: When it comes to septic tanks and houses in Florida, what is the minimal distance?
- In order for my septic tank to function more efficiently, what should I add to it?
- Can you tell me how I can identify whether or not a residence is linked to a septic tank or a sewage system?
- The septic tank needs to be pumped out every so often.
- Does adding a second story to my house necessitate the purchase of a bigger septic system?
- Plan on inspecting it, or are you just passing through?
- When it comes to the plumbing regulations, what is the difference between gray water and black water.
Is it permissible to disconnect the washing machine drain from the septic tank and direct it to the ground in the front yard? Visit ourSEPTIC TANK SYSTEMSandWELLSpages for further blog entries on this topic, or go to theINDEXfor a comprehensive listing of all of our articles on the subject.
In This Article
- Amount of distance from the home
- Basic safety concerns
- Suggestions for a successful installation
For those who don’t have access to a municipal sewage system, an alternate solution, such as a septic tank and field lines, will be required. The design and operation of these systems are fairly straightforward. When designing a septic system, you must keep in mind the requirements of local construction codes as well as public health concerns.
Depending on where you live, local ordinances and regulations that specify the distance between the septic tank and the home vary. However, the normal minimum distance is 10 feet between the two structures. Consult your local ordinances and regulations for a detailed answer as to how far your septic tank must be installed from your home. Requirements differ from one location to the next, although the standard minimum distance from the home is 10 feet in most cases. In the case of a private well for drinking water, however, keep in mind that many state departments of health demand a minimum distance of 50 feet between a new septic tank and a well.
It is possible that the septic tank will be placed considerably closer to the structure since it will be easier and require less plumbing in some cases.
Basic Safety Considerations
If you’re the type of person who prefers to do things on their own, there are certain important measures you should take before starting this endeavor. Before you start digging the hole for the tank, call your local utility providers to find out where the service lines are located. A gas line, water line, phone line, or electrical connection that has been severed is not only potentially dangerous, but it may also be extremely expensive to repair. Once you have finished excavating the hole, proceed with caution.
It’s also important to understand that a concrete septic tank can weigh up to 5 tons.
Make sure the hole is available when the tank is delivered so that it can be installed straight in the desired location.
Tips for a Successful Installation
Plan ahead of time to get your water supply switched on prior to installing your septic tank. You must fill the tank with water as soon as it is placed in its final position for this to be possible. This has absolutely nothing to do with the septic system itself, but it is a prudent precaution. In the event of a heavy downpour, the groundwater may swell and a septic tank may float out of the ground, even if it has been buried. If this occurs, contact a qualified professional immediately. Repairing any damage done to the lines or to the tank itself, as well as putting the tank back in its original location, may be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.
Initially, you may be confident that you will remember the exact location of the marker when it is time to top up the tank — which is generally every three to five years — but your memory may fade over time.
In the absence of a marker, you may end up digging holes in the wrong place when it is time to service the tank.
Well and Septic Distance Requirements for FHA Loans
When purchasing a property outside of the municipal boundaries, it is common for the home to be equipped with a well and septic system. Despite the fact that the residence may only have one, public water and sewer may be available nearby. When purchasing a property with these qualities with the help of the highly popularFHA loan, there are specific requirements that must be followed. These are referred to as the FHA distance requirements for a well and septic tanks, and they are outlined below.
If a property does not satisfy these regulations, it may provide a health risk to the occupants.
FHA Minimum Distance Between a Well and Septic Tank for Existing Construction
Wells and septic tanks aren’t the only things that need to be separated from one another. As a result, the distance restrictions are primarily concerned with water rather than any other form of pollution. A septic tank, a drain field, and other sources of pollution are all possible.
FHA Distance Requirements Existing Homes
- Approximately 10 feet from the property border
- 50 feet from the septic tank
- And 100 feet from the drain field.
Despite this, there are occasional deviations in particular situations. The length of the septic tank drain field may be lowered to 75 feet if the local government approves it. Additionally, if the property line is adjacent to a residential property, the well distance regulations of the local government should be followed. However, if the land is adjacent to non-residential property or a public road, there must be a minimum of a 10-foot separation between the two properties. In circumstances where the local government grants permission for greater distances, this will take precedence over the restrictions outlined above.
In the case of a well or septic tank, it is strongly advised that you arrange a well water test and septic tank inspection prior to purchasing the house.
FHA Minimum Distance Between a Well and Septic Tank for New Construction
A buyer who acquires a new house must meet a number of more specific conditions.
- Ten feet from the property border
- Fifty feet from the septic tank
- Hundred feet from the absorption field
- And hundred feet from the seepage pit or cesspool Sewer lines with permanent water tight joints are 10 feet in length
- Other sewer lines are 50 feet in length
- And chemically poisoned soil is 25 feet in length. When impermeable layers of clay, hardpan, or rock protect the ground surface, the depth can be decreased to 15 feet. 50-foot-deep dry well
- Other regulations – always consult with the appropriate local authorities
Similarly to the current dwelling criteria, any local government regulations take precedence over the foregoing and may be followed. Another piece of advice for first-time home buyers is to make time to attend the septic system inspection. Not only may possible concerns be highlighted in depth to the borrower, but it also serves as an excellent educational opportunity. Learning how to maintain and service a septic system is an important part of a good education. HUD.gov is the official website of the Federal Housing Administration.
How Far Does A Septic Tank Have To Be From A House
Has it occurred to you that you need to install a new septic tank for your house, or that you are constructing and planning your ideal home for the first time? In any case, you must ensure that your septic tank is installed in the proper location so that it may perform its functions without interfering with the operation of the house. Septic tanks or fields must be located at least five feet away from your residence. In most circumstances, however, tanks are situated even further away from the house, often around 10 feet away in most cases, while leach fields are located approximately twenty feet away from the house.
Being able to determine where it should be placed on your own will help you to determine how far away from the home it should be.
How Far Does a Septic Tank/Field Need to Be From a House?
When it comes to installing a septic tank or field, you must make sure that it is at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. In most circumstances, however, tanks are situated even further away from the house, often around 10 feet away in most cases, while leach fields are located approximately twenty feet away from the house. This is due to the fact that placing a septic tank too near to where the home will be built might cause construction to be delayed, and because constructing over a sewage tank can be hazardous.
The fact that the septic tank will be located further away from where the new house will be constructed will make the construction process much easier in the next months than it would be otherwise would alleviate many of these concerns for you.
It shouldn’t matter if the leach fields are far enough away and there isn’t anything constructed over them; your system should still function properly.
How Far Does a Septic Tank Have to Be From a Well?
When it comes to septic tank installation, there should be no other water sources nearby that might interfere with the process. As a result, if you have a well that is within sight of your home, you must make certain that the tank and the field are located a sufficient distance away from it. So, how far away does it have to be in order to be considered? This might vary depending on the situation, but there are certain general guidelines that you can follow. The health and safety standards in most states demand that any waste containers, including septic tanks, be at least fifty feet away from any wells in order to ensure public health and safety.
It is crucial to note, however, that this is a rule that may differ significantly depending on which state you reside in and how strict the regulations are.
That particular number will be the one you must follow if your state has a rule that dictates that you have the tank or fields at a greater distance from the house.
How Far Does a Septic Tank Need to Be From a Property Line?
A septic tank must be built in a location that is sufficiently remote from a property line before it can be used effectively. In order to guarantee that the tank is positioned at a sufficient distance from the property line, you must measure such that it is at least 10 feet away from the boundary. This is mostly due to the fact that the tank and drain fields should not be located in an area where a large number of people will be walking. If your neighbors come by and stroll about your property, they shouldn’t have to deal with the issue of something happening to the drain fields because they had to go to grab their dog or because they wanted to drop something off on your doorstep while they were there.
If this occurs and the liquid escapes onto municipal property, you may be penalized for failing to keep the liquid a sufficient distance away from city property.
In most cases, you should keep your pets at least 10 feet away from the property border, but you should double-check with your state’s requirements as well.
Where Should a Septic Tank Be Placed?
A septic tank must be built in a location that is sufficiently remote from a property line before it can be considered functional. In order to guarantee that the tank is situated at a sufficient distance from the property line, you must measure so that it is at least 10 feet away. Because the tank and drain fields should not be located in an area where a large number of people will pass by them, this is the case. If your neighbors come by and stroll about your property, they shouldn’t have to deal with the issue of anything happening to the drain fields because they had to go to grab their dog or because they wanted to leave something down on your doorstep while you were away.
If this occurs and the liquid escapes onto municipal property, you may be penalized for failing to keep the liquid a sufficient distance away from the city property.
The standard distance is at least ten feet from the property line, but you should double-check with your state requirements as well to be sure you are complying with them.
How Much Land Is Needed for a Septic Tank?
Your property must have enough open space for the tank to be able to be installed safely and securely there. If the available area is insufficient, you may be unable to incorporate it into the soil. But how much property do you need to put a septic tank on in order to do so? The typical lot size required for the installation of a septic tank and field is around half an acre. This offers you the space you need to determine the best location for the tank itself as well as a location for the drain fields if needed.
This is something that you really do not want to have to deal with, therefore it is preferable to have the room in the first place in order to attempt and make the best of what you’ve been given.
Installing a new septic tank on your property is a major undertaking that must be completed correctly the first time. It is important to understand the project’s ins and outs, even if you have specialists complete the job on your behalf, so that you are certain that all state and federal rules are being followed. In order to avoid having any difficulties with your septic tank or drain fields in the future, and to avoid being fined or having to pay to have it fixed later on, you should take the following steps: As a result of the restrictions outlined in this article, you may construct your septic tank and drain field in accordance with state requirements, transforming your property into the ideal location for a home or transforming your existing home by constructing a system around it.
You may have your septic tank system installed and connected in a matter of hours, no matter how you go about doing it. It’s possible to have your system installed sooner than you expect if you follow the fundamental laws outlined above and research the regulations specific to your state.
Knowledge Details · U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development
The following table shows the bare minimum distance that must be maintained between wells and pollution sources: CONSTRUCTION THAT IS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY
- Property line – 10 feet
- Septic tank – 50 feet
- Drain field – 100 feet
- Septic tank drain field can be decreased to 75 feet if permitted by municipal authorities. a. It is necessary to comply with local well distance standards if the relevant Property line is next to residential property. If the subject Land is next to non-residential property or a public road, there must be a minimum separation distance of 10 feet between the subject Property and the road.
NOTE: If the distance between the two points is higher than that specified above, the distance requirements of the local authority take precedence. THERE IS A NEW CONSTRUCTION
- Ten feet from the property line
- Fifty feet from the septic tank
- Hundred feet from the absorption field
- Hundred feet from the seepage pit or cesspool
- Ten feet from the property line Watertight junctions on sewer lines are required to be permanently installed every 10 feet
- All other sewer lines are required to be 50 feet. Chemically poisoned soil – 25 feet (reduced to 15 feet where the ground surface is protected by impervious strata or clay, hardpan, or rock)
- Chemically poisoned soil – 25 feet (reduced to 15 feet where the ground surface is protected by impervious strata or clay, hardpan, or rock)
- Chemically poisoned soil 50-foot-deep dry well
- Other – refer to the minimums set by the local health authority
NOTE: If the distance between the two points is higher than that specified above, the distance requirements of the local authority take precedence. See Handbook 4000.1 II.A.3.aii(O)(2) and II.A.8.ivii(A)(6) at the end of this chapter for further information.
Septic line distance limitations
I wouldn’t recommend using 2 inch pipe for anything other than water drainage. If you’re passing solids through the line, such as in a toilet, use a 3 inch line at the very least. The distance isn’t an issue, but, as everyone else has pointed out, the drop is. You didn’t say how far away this would be, but if you can connect it to your existing system, that would be the cheapest and most convenient option. I’ve always been taught that 3 to 7 percent is the sweet spot, but I’m not going to argue with 2 percent, which seems a little on the shallow side.
- Given that the level is 72 inches above ground, the 3 1/2 inch decrease will put you dangerously near to the 5 percent mark.
- How far do you have to run to reach the finish line?
- In terms of distance, the rule of thumb is to place cleanouts at a distance that is somewhat less than double the distance you can reach with a snake.
- Will you ever have to dump an RV or will you need to dump an RV?
- There are kits available to assist you if you need to install a collection tank and pump the water uphill.
- The discharge pipe’s size will be determined by the type of pump you select.
- In order to manage the discharge of 300 RVs, my RV park will have a 3 inch line installed.
How Far Should Your Well Be From Your Septic Tank?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product after clicking on one of our links, we may receive a commission or free product from the firms featured in this post. Amazon is a good illustration of this. Having a private water well and a septic tank in your backyard does not make for nice neighbors. Assuming you have a well on your property and intend to construct a new septic tank on it, or if you are looking to acquire a home that already has both, make sure they are at least a set distance apart from one another before proceeding.
So, how far away from your septic tank should your well be located?
Aside from that, the minimum separation distance between a well and a drain field is usually greater.
Find out how far a well should be from your drain field, what happens when a well is too close to a septic system, and what you can do to ensure that your well water is protected in the following sections.
How Far a Well Should Be from Your Drain Field?
septic tank drain fields must be at least 100 feet away from a well, according to Department of Health regulations in several states. This value, like the minimum separation distance between a well and a septic tank, may differ depending on where you reside. Before you begin construction on a new septic tank on your property or purchase a new home that includes a well and a wastewater treatment system, be sure you understand the specific regulations of your local health authority. Additionally, the Federal Housing Administration has established minimum separation lengths as a necessity (FHA).
All wastewater created by a residence, including sink, shower, wash, and bath water must be discharged into a septic system, according to state health rules.
A second point to mention is that all private drinking water wells should be examined for bacteria at least once per year, and in certain cases, this is mandated by law.
What Happens When a Well is Too Close to a Septic System?
It is possible for a variety of containments to infiltrate into your water well if your well is located too close to a wastewater treatment facility. These are some examples:
- Microorganisms such as salmonella or E. coli
- And Infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis A and norovirus. Drain cleaners, paints, WD-40, and other home cleaning goods include chemicals
- Phosphates derived from soaps and detergents Heavy metals, copper, and iron are examples of such materials.
The compounds listed above have the potential to cause sickness or illness if present in large quantities. If you believe that your well water has been contaminated, you should have it tested as soon as possible. Using water treatment options such as reverse osmosis, chlorination, ultraviolet purification, or active charcoal filtration to make well water safe for consumption should be considered if a problem is discovered. But what happens if these treatments are unable to entirely eliminate the pollutants from the environment?
How Can You Protect Your Well Water?
In order to protect your well water, as previously stated, the first step is to ensure that the well is located at a reasonable distance from the water treatment system, at least 50 feet from the septic tank, and at least 100 feet from the drain field. In addition to that, follow these guidelines to ensure that your well water is safe to consume. If you want to protect yourself and your family from drinking water that contains nitrates and coliform bacteria, you should get the water in your well tested at least once a year for these contaminants.
Septic tanks are not to be confused with rubbish incinerators.
It is critical that you do not allow an excessive amount of sludge to collect, which is why frequent cleaning of the septic tank is suggested.
As a general guideline, you should clean your septic tank once every three to five years, depending on how dirty it is. You should, however, consider cleaning your drains more often if your family creates a lot of wastewater.
You should use a sanitary seal to keep the top of your well closed off. This will guarantee that foreign things do not enter the well and taint the water as a result of their presence. The vent should be able to keep insects, mice, and spiders out as well as keep unwanted things out of the house. If the top of your well has not been securely sealed, we recommend that you contact a competent water well care provider right once.
- Ensure that all outside faucets are equipped with backflow preventers.
Water can sometimes be drawn backwards through a hose and into a well, which is a problem. Especially when the hose is connected to a chemical sprayer, this can be a significant concern. You should consider putting a screw-on brass atmospheric pressure breaker on all outside faucets if you cannot or do not want to install a backflow prevention device in your water supply system for whatever reason you have. It is quite easy for excess chemicals to infiltrate through the soil and into the groundwater, where they can cause nitrate levels to rise dramatically.
Furthermore, do not combine or store fertilizers and pesticides in a way that allows spills to soak into the soil and enter groundwater sources.
As a result, take the appropriate actions to prevent runoffs from occurring.
- Ensure that fuel, cleaning fluids, and other chemicals are properly disposed
Never hesitate to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disposing of gasoline, motor oil, cleaning fluids, paint thinners, furniture polish, and other chemicals. You should never flush these hazardous substances down the toilet, and you should never put them on the ground. This is a potential environmental concern that might result in pollution and the imposition of severe fines.
Related Questions To How Far Should Your Well Be From Your Septic Tank
What is the ideal distance between your garden and your septic tank? Planting vegetables and fruits at least 10 feet away from your wastewater treatment system or leach field, according to the University of California Small Farm Program, can help avoid bacterial contamination. How near can you build a house addition to a septic tank before it becomes unsafe? A complete foundation must be at least 10 feet away from your septic system and at least 20 feet away from your leeching area in order to be effective.
The answer is around 25 feet.
If you have any further septic system inquiries, we recommend that you visit ourSeptic Wikipage, which answers a wide range of frequently asked topics on septic systems.
Septic Systems and Drinking Water
|1. Bathrooms and Kitchens
|Water from toilets, sinks, showers, and other appliances is called wastewater and can be harmful to human health. Wastewater contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and nutrients that could make you sick if it comes in contact with your drinking water well. Make sure the wastewater is properly treated by your septic system and that your drinking water well is located at the appropriate distance (set back) from your and your neighbor’s system. Avoid flushing other chemicals or medications down the drain or toilet since they could also contaminate your drinking water well.
|2. Septic Tank
|Wastewater generated in your home exits through a drainage pipe and into a septic tank. The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container that holds wastewater for separation and treatment. The solids settle to the bottom (sludge) and fats, oil and grease float to the top (scum). Microorganisms act to break down the sludge and destroy some of the contaminants in the wastewater. Your septic tank should be serviced and pumped on a regular basis to make sure it’s working properly.
|Learn more about how your septic system works.
|The drainfield is a shallow, covered trench made in the soil in your yard. Partially treated wastewater from the septic tank flows out through the drainfield, filters down through the soil and enters the groundwater. If the drainfield is overloaded with too much liquid or clogged with solids, it will flood and cause sewage to surface in your yard or back up into your home.
|4. Wastewater Treatment in Soil
|Filtering wastewater through the soil removes most bacteria and viruses (also known as pathogens) and some nutrients. While soil can treat many contaminants, it cannot remove all of them (e.g., medicines, some cleaning products, other potentially harmful chemicals). If untreated wastewater surfaces in the yard, wastewater may contaminate your drinking water through an unsecured well cap or cracks in the well casing. It’s important to avoid flushing medication and chemicals into your wastewater since it could contaminate your drinking water.
|5. Water Table
|The water table is found where you first hit water if you dig a hole into the ground.
|The water below the water table is called groundwater. Groundwater flowing underneath a drainfield captures any remaining contaminants released from the septic system. A drinking water well is at greater risk of becoming contaminated if it is in the path of groundwater flow beneath a septic system.
|7. Drinking Water Well
|A drinking water well is drilled or dug into the groundwater so water can be pumped to the surface. Deep wells located farther away from a septic system and not in the path of the groundwater flow from the septic system are least likely to be contaminated. Drinking water wells should be regularly tested to ensure your home’s water is safe to drink.
|Learn about private water wells.
|8. Setback Distance
|Most states or local governments require a specific horizontal distance (or setback) between a septic system and a drinking water well. If the soil where you live is sandy, or porous, you may want to place your well farther away than the minimum required distance. Contamination is less likely the farther apart a well is from a septic system.
|Consult your local health department about required setback distances in your area.
|9. Could my well be affected?
|Your septic system could contaminate your drinking water well or a nearby well under certain conditions. Remember to test the drinking water from your well regularly and take corrective action as needed.The contamination risk to your well is LOWER:
- The greater the distance between the well and the septic system
- The greater the depth of the well and whether it is on bedrock or below a specified layer of silt or clay
- And the greater the distance between the well and the septic system If your septic system is pumped and maintained on a regular basis, you can avoid this.
The following factors increase the danger of pollution to your well:
- The well is at a shallow depth and in permeable soil
- It is downgradient of the septic system (i.e., groundwater flows from the septic system towards the well)
- There are many homes on septic systems near the well
- Or the well and/or septic system have been poorly constructed or maintained (i.e., contaminants can enter a cracked drinking well casing from groundwater or surface water).
|Learn other ways to keep your private well safe from possible sources of contamination.
Isolation Distances From a Water-Supply Well – EH: Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4725Rules Relating to Wells and BoringsEffective date: August 4, 2008The isolation distances below are fromMinnesota Rules, chapter 4725. Distances must bemeasured horizontally from the water-supply well.Minnesota Statutes, section103I.205, subdivision 6, prohibits constructing, placing, or installing anactual or potential contaminant sourcefrom a well that is lessthan the minimum distance prescribed by rule. The minimum isolation distance must be maintained between a new well and a contamination source, even if the contamination source is no longer in use.Absorption area of a soil dispersal system average flow greater than 10,000 gallons/day 300 feet 1 serving a facility handling infectious or pathological wastes 150 feet 1 average flow 10,000 gallons/day or less 50 feet 1 Agricultural chemical tank or container with 25 gallons or more or 100 pounds or more dry weight, or equipment filling or cleaning area without safeguards 150 feet storage or equipment filling or cleaning area with safeguards 100 feet storage or equipment filling or cleaning area with safeguards and roofed 50 feet buried piping 50 feet multiple tanks or containers for residential retail sale or use, no single tank or container exceeding, butaggregate volume exceeding 56 gallons or 100 pounds dry weight 50 feet Anhydrous ammonia tank 50 feet Animal feedlot, unroofed, 300 or more animal units 100 feet 1 feedlot, more than 1.0, but less than 300 animal units 50 feet 1 building or poultry building, including a horse riding area, more than 1.0 animal unit 50 feet 1 rendering plant 50 feet feeding or watering area within a pasture, more than 1.0 animal unit 50 feet 1 area to bury more than one animal unit 50 feet building, feedlot, confinement area, or kennel, 0.1 to 1.0 animal unit 20 feet 1,2 Building, building projection, deck, overhang, permanent structure 3 feet 3 Cesspool 75 feet 1 Cistern or reservoir, buried, nonpressurized water supply 20 feet Commercial compost site 50 feet Construction or demolition debris disposal area 50 feet 1 Cooling water pond, industrial 50 feet 1 Deicing chemicals, bulk road 50 feet 1 Drainfield (see Absorption area) Dry well (sewage) 75 feet 1 Electric transmission line 10 feet 4 Electrical transformer storage area, oil-filled 50 feet Elevator boring, not conforming to rule 50 feet conforming to rule 20 feet Fertilizer chemigation tank, safeguarded, from irrigation well only 20 feet 5 Floor drain, grate, or trough connected to a buried sewer 50 feet if buried sewer is air-tested, approved materials, serving one building, or two or less single-familyresidences 20 feet 2 Frost-proof yard hydrant or discharge of a frost-proof hydrant draining into the soil, fire hydrant or flushing hydrant 10 feet Gas (flammable or volatile) pipe 10 feet 4 Grave or mausoleum 50 feet Gravel pocket or French drain for clear water drainage 20 feet Gray-water dispersal area 50 feet 1 Hazardous substance tank or container, above ground or underground, 56 gallons or more, or 100 pounds or more dry weight, without safeguards 150 feet tank or container, above ground or underground, 56 gallons or more, or 100 pounds or more dry weight with safeguards 100 feet buried piping 50 feet multiple storage tanks or containers for residential retail sale or use, no single tank or container exceeding 56 gallons or 100 pounds, but aggregate volume exceeding 50 feet Horizontal ground source closed loop heat exchanger buried piping 50 feet Horizontal ground source closed loop heat exchanger buried piping and horizontal piping, approved materialsand heat transfer fluid 10 feet 2 Household solid waste disposal area, single residence 50 feet 1 Interceptor, including a flammable waste or sediment 50 feet Land spreading area for sewage, septage, or sludge 50 feet 1 Landfill or dump, mixed municipal solid waste from multiple persons 300 feet 1 Landfill, permitted demolition debris 300 feet 1 Leaching pit 75 feet 1 Liquid propane (LP) tank 10 feet 4 Manure (liquid) storage basin or lagoon unpermitted or noncertified 300 feet 1 approved earthen liner 150 feet 1 approved concrete or composite liner 100 feet 1 Manure (solid) storage area, not covered with a roof 100 feet 1 Ordinary high water level of a stream, river, pond, storm water retention pond, lake, or reservoir 35 feet 2 Petroleum tank or container, 1,100 gallons or more, without safeguards 150 feet tank or container, 1,100 gallons or more, with safeguards 100 feet tank or container, buried, between 56 and 1,100 gallons 50 feet tank or container, not buried, between 56 and 1,100 gallons 20 feet 6 buried piping 50 feet Petroleum or crude oil pipeline to a refinery or distribution center 100 feet Pit or unfilled space more than four feet in depth 20 feet Pollutant or contaminant that may drain into the soil 50 feet 1 Privy, nonportable 50 feet 1 portable (privy) or toilet 20 feet 2 Sand filter, watertight; peat filter; or constructed wetland 50 feet Scrap yard 50 feet Seepage pit 75 feet 1 Septic tank 50 feet Sewage holding tank, watertight 50 feet Sewage sump capacity 100 gallons or more 50 feet capacity less than 100 gallons, tested, conforming to rule 20 feet 2 Sewage treatment device, watertight 50 feet Sewer, buried collector, municipal, serving a facility handling infectious or pathological wastes, open-jointed or unapproved materials 50 feet approved materials, tested, serving one building, or two or less single-family residences 20 feet 2 Solid waste transfer station 50 feet Storm water drain pipe, 8 inches or greater in diameter 20 feet 2 Swimming pool, in-ground 20 feet Unused, unsealed well or boring 50 feet Vertical heat exchanger (vertical) piping, conforming to rule 35 feet 2 horizontal piping conforming to rule 10 feet 2 Wastewater rapid infiltration basin, municipal or industrial 300 feet 1 Wastewater spray irrigation area, municipal or industrial 150 feet 1 Wastewater stabilization pond municipal, 500 or more gallons/acre/day of leakage 300 feet 1 municipal, less than 500 gallons/acre/day of leakage 150 feet 1 industrial 150 feet 1 Wastewater treatment unit tanks, vessels and components (Package plant) 100 feet Water treatment backwash disposal area 50 feet 1 Water treatment backwash holding basin, reclaim basin, or surge tank with a direct sewer connection 50 feet with a backflow protected sewer connection 20 feet Additional Isolation Distances For Community Public Water-Supply Wells Highest water or flood level 50 feet Property line, unless legally controlled through an easement 50 feet 1 A sensitive water-supply well must be located at least twice theindicated distance.Asensitive water-supply well is a well with less than 50 feet of watertightcasing, and which is not cased below a confining layer or confining materials ofat least 10 feet in thickness. 2 A community public water-supply well must be a minimum of 50 feetfrom this contamination source. 3 Awell or boring may not be constructed inside a building except as provided forby Minnesota Rules, part 4725.2175. 4 A well or boring may be located between 5 and 10 feet of anelectric transmission line, gas pipe or LP tank if the well or boring isplacarded, and work is not performed on the well or boring unless the electricline is deenergized and grounded or shielded, and the LP tank does not containflammable gas. 5 The 20-foot distance applies only to an irrigation well and afertilizer chemigation supply tank meeting the requirements of Minnesota Rules,chapter 1505. 6 A community public water-supply well must be a minimum of 50 feet from a petroleum tank or container with a capacity between 56 and 1,100 gallons, unless the tank or container is used to fuel emergency pumping equipment and is located in a room or building separate from the community well; and is of double-wall construction with leak detection between walls; or is protected with secondary containment.
Contact theMDH Well Management Section 651-201-4600 [email protected] Department of Health