HB 1685 – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1685
This bill requires water quality testing for private water supply wells.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten
AN ACT relative to testing the water quality of private water supply wells.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 New Chapter; Private Well Water Quality Testing. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 485-E the following new chapter:
PRIVATE WELL WATER QUALITY TESTING
485-F:1 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to protect public health by informing owners of private water supply wells and buyers of properties using private water supply wells, of the quality of water provided by said wells with reference to health-based standards, and to aid the scientific community in understanding the occurrence and distribution of natural contaminants in groundwater by providing a means for well owners to share well testing data with the geological survey.
485-F:2 Definitions. In this chapter:
I. “Accredited laboratory” means a laboratory accredited pursuant to RSA 485:44.
II. “Commissioner” means the commissioner of the department of environmental services.
III. “Department” means the department of environmental services.
IV. “Geological survey” means the New Hampshire geological survey.
V. “Hydrofracture” means a well development technique utilizing a high pressure pump and one or more inflatable or mechanical packers to flush out or expand fractures within a well, used to potentially increase the yield of a well.
VI. “Parameters of concern” means arsenic, bacteria (total coliform and E. coli), chloride, copper (stagnant and flushed), fluoride, gross alpha, hardness, iron, lead (stagnant and flushed), manganese, nitrate, nitrite, pH, radon, sodium, and uranium.
VII. “Private well” means a drinking water well that serves a dwelling unit and is not regulated as part of a public water system as defined in RSA 485:1-a, XV.
VIII. “Pump installer” has the meaning given in RSA 482-B:2, IV.
485-F:3 Testing of New, Deepened, and Hydrofracture Wells.
I. Upon completion of a new private well or upon deepening or hydrofracturing of an existing private well, the pump installer shall:
(a) Sample the untreated water produced by such well.
(b) Have the sample analyzed for parameters of concern, with the exception of stagnant copper and lead, by an accredited laboratory.
(c) Provide the results of such analysis to the well owner using a form developed by the department in consultation with the water well board.
II. The well owner shall acknowledge receipt of the results of such analysis by signing the form required under paragraph I(c) and returning it to the pump installer.
485-F:4 Testing of Wells Prior to Transfer of Real Estate.
I. Prior to the execution of a purchase and sale agreement for any developed
property using a private well, the seller of the property shall, at the seller’s expense:
(a) Sample the untreated water produced by such well.
(b) Have the sample analyzed for parameters of concern by an accredited laboratory.
(c) Provide the results of such analysis to the buyer using a form developed by the department in consultation with the water well board.
II. The buyer shall sign said form certifying that the seller has complied with the requirements of this section and return a signed copy to the seller.
III. If, within 3 years before the execution of a purchase and sale agreement, a private well has been tested pursuant to this chapter, the seller may provide the results of such test to the buyer to satisfy the requirements of this section.
IV. A buyer may relieve the seller of all of the requirements of this section by completing and signing a form provided by the department for this purpose. Such form shall inform the buyer of the department’s recommendations regarding private well testing, and the buyer’s signature on such form shall indicate that the buyer is aware of said recommendations.
485-F:5 Administrative Fines; Appeals.
I. The commissioner, after notice and hearing pursuant to RSA 541-A, may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $10,000 for each offense upon any person who knowingly:
(a) Violates any provision of this chapter or any rule or order adopted or issued under this chapter.
(b) Makes any material false statement in any document required to be filed or maintained under this chapter.
II. Rehearings and appeals from a decision of the commissioner under this section shall be in accordance with RSA 541.
III. Any administrative fine imposed under this section shall not preclude the imposition of further penalties under this chapter. The commissioner may assess additional fines upon any person who has received written notification from the department regarding violations of the provisions of this chapter or rules adopted pursuant to this chapter, if the violations have not been mitigated within 30 days of receipt of notification.
IV. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 21-O:7, IV, any enforcement action taken by the department or the commissioner against any licensed pump installer pursuant to this chapter may be appealed to the water well board pursuant to RSA 482-B:16. Any enforcement action taken by the department or the commissioner against any other person pursuant to this chapter may be appealed to the water council pursuant to RSA 21-O:7, IV.
485-F:6 Private Well Testing and Notification Form. Forms developed by the department for the purposes of this chapter shall include the following information:
I. The name, mailing address, and phone number of the pump installer, if the testing is under RSA 485-F:3, or the seller if the testing is under RSA 485-F:4.
II.(a) The name and address of the owner of the well.
(b) The address of the property where the well is located in a format consistent with the state’s emergency 911 system.
(c) The map and lot numbers if available.
(d) The well identification number assigned by the department, if available.
III. In the case of new, deepened, or hydrofracture wells under 485-F:3, the final well yield measured according to rules adopted by the water well board under RSA 482-B:4.
IV. The location where the sample was taken, for example the well, a pressure tank, or kitchen faucet.
V. The name, license number, if applicable, and whether the sample collector is the owner, pump installer, owner’s agent, or other.
VI. The name, address, phone number, and identification number of the laboratory where the specimen was tested.
VII. Analytical results for each parameter of concern, using units specified on the form.
VIII. Explanation of analytical results relevant to drinking water standards, and explanation of well yield results relative to recommended minimum well yield for new and deepened wells, provided by the department.
IX. A statement by the laboratory agreeing to provide the following information in an electronic spreadsheet format to the geological survey within one year if so instructed in writing by the well owner or home buyer:
(a) Well location information.
(b) Well identification number assigned by the department, if available.
(c) Analytical results for each parameter of concern, using units specified by the department.
485-F:7 Voluntary Sharing of Data for Scientific Purposes.
I. Forms provided by the department for the purposes of this chapter shall include space for the well owner or home buyer to voluntarily instruct the testing laboratory to release the data listed in 485-F:6, IX to the geological survey for scientific purposes.
II. An accredited laboratory that accepts samples for analysis pursuant to this chapter shall agree to use forms provided by the department to provide information to the geological survey if so instructed in writing by the well owner or home buyer pursuant to 485-F:6, IX.
485-F:8 Rulemaking. The commissioner shall adopt rules in consultation with the water well board, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
I. The content and structure of all forms to be issued by the department, including information and other materials to be submitted with the forms.
II. Methodology for sampling water from private wells.
III. Handling of samples until delivered to the accredited laboratory.
IV. Methods and procedures to be followed by accredited laboratories to handle and analyze samples.
V. A schedule of administrative fines which may be imposed under this chapter.
VI. Procedures for notice and hearing prior to the imposition of an administrative fine.
VII. Use and sharing of private well data received by the geological survey pursuant to this chapter.
2 Effective Date.
I. The provisions of RSA 485-F:6, IX and RSA 485-F:7 as inserted by section 1 of this act shall take effect 2 years after its passage.
II. The remainder of this act shall take effect one year after its passage.