If you need to install a new water well on your property, you may already have an idea for its location. But, although your chosen site may be convenient, the location might not provide you with a safe, clean source of water.
To protect private water wells from contamination, Utah has established guidelines that help ensure proper site selection. Here’s what you need to know.
Separation Distances for New Water Well Installations
Aside from the required separation distances, you must also consider the site’s slope. A well situated downhill from a septic system or livestock barn has a greater chance of becoming contaminated than one that is placed on the uphill side.
Despite these general guidelines, the surface slope of your property may not indicate how pollutants will flow if they enter the ground. The groundwater supplying your well may flow a completely different direction.
Utah Regulations for New Water Wells
To encourage safe placement, Utah’s legal code imposes specific requirements for new well construction.
New water well installations in Utah must be drilled at least:
- 15 feet away from storm and sanitary sewers
- 25 feet away from sewer lines
- 50 feet away from septic tanks
- 100 feet away from septic tank drain fields
For an ungrouted Utah water well (one that doesn’t meet the minimum construction standard of a 30-foot deep grout surface seal), the minimum separation distance from a septic tank drain field doubles to 200 feet.
Additional Recommendations for New Utah Water Wells
The distances listed above are the only separations required by state law. But, the Utah Homestead Assessment for Groundwater and Surface Water Protection offers additional guidelines for safe well placement.
According to the study, new installations should be placed at least:
- 5 feet from property lines and dwellings
- 10 feet from cisterns and clear water drains
- 15 feet from connected foundation drains
- 25 feet from nearby ditches, streams and lakes
- 50 feet from wastewater holding tanks and milk house floor drains
- 100 feet from manure piles, livestock yards, silos and chemical storage tanks
- 1500 feet from salt storage areas
Keep in mind that adhering to the above laws and recommendations doesn’t guarantee that contamination will never enter your well. However, the safest course of action is to provide as much distance as possible between potential pollutants and your family’s water supply.
The professional contractors at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, serving homeowners throughout Utah and Wyoming, have over 30 years of experience in water well installations. For advice in situating your new water well, contact our Salt Lake City office today.