HB667 (2020) Detail

(New Title) relative to testing private wells.



8Jan2020... 2849h







AN ACT relative to testing private wells.


SPONSORS: Rep. Stack, Hills. 21; Rep. W. Thomas, Hills. 21; Rep. Murphy, Hills. 21; Sen. Chandley, Dist 11


COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration






This bill requires that installers of new well pumps to test the well water for certain contaminants.


This bill also requires that property buyers be notified of the presence of certain contaminants in well water before the execution of a contract for purchase.


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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

8Jan2020... 2849h 19-0722





In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen


AN ACT relative to testing private wells.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  New Section; Well Testing.  Amend RSA 482-B by inserting after section 18 the following new section:

482-B:19  Well Testing.

I.  Following the pump installation on a new well constructed as a drinking water supply source that will not serve a public water system as defined in RSA 485:1-a, XV, the licensed pump installer shall be responsible for having the water quality tested.

II.  The water sample for testing shall be collected by the licensed pump installer or an individual representing them.

III.  The water sample for testing shall be representative of the raw and untreated water and free of visible sediment or residual disinfectant.

IV.  The water sample for testing shall be analyzed by a laboratory accredited by the New Hampshire environmental laboratory accreditation program for the parameters listed below:

(a)  Arsenic

(b)  Bacteria

(c)  Chloride

(d)  Copper

(e)  Fluoride

(f)  Hardness

(g)  Iron

(h)  Lead

(i)  Manganese

(j)  Nitrate

(k)  Nitrite

(l)  pH

(m)  Sodium

(n)  Uranium, and

(o)  Radon.

V.  The pump installer shall provide the laboratory’s report of required analyses to the current owner of the property which the well will serve accompanied by a notice from the department of environmental services that includes information on new well water quality; the importance of re-testing water periodically; recommendations for testing additional parameters; how to interpret the results and identify treatment needs and options; and the importance of maintaining treatment systems, if installed.  

VI.  Failure to test a well or submit the laboratory report resulting from such test section shall be a violation.

2  Notification Required; Well Water Contaminants, Radon, and Lead.  Amend RSA 477:4-a to read as follows:

477:4-a  Notification Required; Contaminants in Well Water, Radon, [Arsenic,] and Lead.

I.  Prior to the execution of any contract for the purchase and sale of any interest in real property which includes a building, the seller, or seller's agent, shall provide the following notification to the buyer.  The buyer shall acknowledge receipt of this notification by signing a copy of such notification:

"Contaminants Common in Well Water: Most private wells in New Hampshire provide water containing harmful contaminants.  The New Hampshire department of environmental services (NHDES) recommends that everyone buying a home first have the water tested using a “New Hampshire Well Water Test for Home Buyers,” which is available at the state water laboratory and at private labs (search the Internet for “NHDES Private Well Testing.”) After you receive your test results, visit NHDES’ “Be Well Informed” website to determine whether a treatment system would be advisable.

"Radon:  Radon, the product of decay of radioactive materials in rock, [may be found in some] is common in many areas of New Hampshire.  Radon gas may pass into a structure through the ground or through water from a deep well resulting in levels of radon that increase the risk of lung cancer and other diseases.  Testing of the air by a professional certified in radon testing and testing of the water, as described above, by an accredited laboratory can [establish radon's presence and equipment is available to remove it from the air or water] measure radon levels and inform a home buyer's decision regarding the need to install water treatment and/or air mitigation systems."

["Arsenic:  Arsenic is a common groundwater contaminant in New Hampshire that occurs at unhealthy levels in well water in many areas of the state.  Tests are available to determine whether arsenic is present at unsafe levels, and equipment is available to remove it from water.  The buyer is encouraged to consult the New Hampshire department of environmental services private well testing recommendations (www.des.nh.gov) to ensure a safe water supply if the subject property is served by a private well."]

"Lead:  Before 1978, paint containing lead may have been used in structures.  Exposure to lead from the presence of flaking, chalking, chipping lead paint or lead paint dust from friction surfaces, or from the disturbance of intact surfaces containing lead paint through unsafe renovation, repair or painting practices, or from soils in close proximity to the building, can present a serious health hazard, especially to young children and pregnant women.  Lead may also be present in drinking water as a result of lead in service lines, plumbing and fixtures.  Tests are available to determine whether lead is present in paint or drinking water."

I-a.  In the notice required in paragraph I, the paragraph headers "contaminants common in well water," "radon," and "lead" shall be printed in bold font or all capitals.

II.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to have any impact on the legal validity of title transferred pursuant to a purchase and sale contract in paragraph I, or to create or place any liability with the seller or seller's agent for failure to provide the notification described in paragraph I.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.




Amended 3/3/20





AN ACT relative to testing private wells.


FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None




Estimated Increase / (Decrease)


FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023








Indeterminable Increase

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Indeterminable Increase

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Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Fees


















Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase



This bill requires installers of new well pumps to test the water for certain contaminants and requires that property buyers be notified of the presence of certain contaminants in well water before the execution of a contract for purchase.


The Department of Environmental Services indicates the bill would require pump installers, licensed by the Water Well Board, to take a sample of water from a new well installed as a private water supply following pump installation.  The installer shall have the sample analyzed at an accredited laboratory for 15 listed parameters and provide the results to the owner of the property along with a notice from the Department of Environmental Services.  The notice prepared by the Department would not be specific to the test sample, but would provide information on contaminants common in well water in New Hampshire.  If the sample test is performed by the state water laboratory the cost is $95.  The Department would develop the notice and make it available to pump installers.  The Department assumes this could be done by existing staff and the cost would be negligible.  The Department would also incur costs to  enforce the requirements for pump installers.  A pump installer's failure to comply would be a violation enforceable by the Water Well Board with staff support from the Department.  To the extent new wells are constructed for residential properties owned by the state, counties or municipalities, the bill would result in expenditures for those entities of approximately $95 per well.


The New Hampshire Municipal Association indicates, since the water test requirement applies only to private wells, its only application to municipalities would be in the limited situation in which a municipality has a well installed to service a municipal building.  In those cases the cost of performing the water test could be passed along to the municipality.  The notification requirement would apply when a municipality sells real estate that includes a building.  The Association assumes the notification cost would be negligible.  There would be no effect on municipal revenues.



Department of Environmental Services and New Hampshire Municipal Association



HB667 at GenCourtMobile
HB667 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 12, 2019 House Hearing
Feb. 19, 2019 House Exec Session
Nov. 6, 2019 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB667 Revision: 7869 Date: March 3, 2020, 3:30 p.m.
HB667 Revision: 7351 Date: Jan. 16, 2019, 10:18 a.m.


Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and referred to Executive Departments and Administration HJ 3 P. 24
Feb. 12, 2019 Public Hearing: 02/12/2019 10:30 am LOB 306
Feb. 19, 2019 Executive Session: 02/19/2019 10:30 am LOB 306
Retained in Committee
Sept. 5, 2019 Subcommittee Work Session: 09/05/2019 10:00 am LOB 306
Sept. 24, 2019 Subcommittee Work Session: 09/24/2019 10:00 am LOB 306
Oct. 30, 2019 Subcommittee Work Session: 10/30/2019 10:00 am LOB 306
Nov. 6, 2019 Subcommittee Work Session: 11/06/2019 09:45 am LOB 305
Nov. 6, 2019 Executive Session: 11/06/2019 01:00 pm LOB 306
Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-2849h (NT) (Vote 17-0; CC) HC 50
Jan. 8, 2020 Amendment # 2019-2849h (NT): AA VV 01/08/2020 HJ 1 P. 43
Jan. 8, 2020 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2019-2849h (NT): MA VV 01/08/2020 HJ 1 P. 43
March 11, 2020 Introduced 03/11/2020 and Referred to Executive Departments and Administration; SJ 7
June 16, 2020 Vacated from Committee and Laid on Table, MA, VV; 06/16/2020 SJ 8
June 16, 2020 No Pending Motion; 06/16/2020 SJ 8