Private Wells

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How often should I test my well water?

It is recommended to first test soon after a new well is installed, thereafter every 3-5 years, whenever there is a change in property ownership, or whenever there is a noticeable change in the water quality, including changes in taste, odor or color.

What well tests are required for private wells prior to issuing a Certificate of Occupancy?

EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 7, 2000-
Pursuant to the Board of Selectmen adoption of revisions to Salem Chapter 253-Salem Disposal Systems and Wells, the following well test results and requirements shall be met prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy on any building serviced by a well in the town of Salem:

A permit must be obtained before any drinking well is installed, and must be accompanied by a scaled diagram of the location. Diagram must show existing or proposed subsurface disposal system on that and adjacent lots. The applicable fee, as established by the Board of Selectmen, shall accompany the application. The plan shall be submitted with the site address, map and lot number.
In all new construction, prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy and in all well replacements, a State of NH certified testing lab shall do a well water analysis of the following parameters:

a. Bacteria
g. Hardness
b. Chloride
h. Fluoride
c. Sodium
i. Nitrate/Nitrite
d. Iron
j. Lead
e. Manganese
k. Arsenic
f. pH
l. Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Screen

All test results shall be submitted to the Health Division and shall meet EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) Standards prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. All VOC's shall be identified and quantified. All parameters that exceed the MCL shall be remediated through the installation of the appropriate filtration system at the well intake

For your information
VOC Testing
The NH Department of Environmental Services, Water Resource Management Lab at 6 Hazen Drive in Concord (603-271-3445), provides a water analysis test called an EPA Method #524.2. This test is $120 and requires a special sampling bottle obtainable from the lab and from the Health Department. The test provides the lowest detection levels for 60 some odd organic compounds and meets the intent of the requirements. The test quantitates the amount of any volatile organic compound tested. Well testing may be done at any NH Certified Well Testing Lab.
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WELL INSTALLERS AND BUILDERS PLEASE NOTE:

IT TAKES APPROXIMATELY TWO (2) WEEKS TO GET VOC TEST RESULTS. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY AS VOC WELL TEST RESULTS ARE REQUIRED PRIOR TO ISSUING THE CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY.