Private Water Wells

The Environmental Health Division protects residents who use private water systems. A private water system includes wells, cisterns, springs, ponds, and hauled water storage tanks. Private systems serve 25 or fewer people.

The Geauga County Board of Health, with the help of the Environmental Health Division, enforces private water system rules and laws, which are set forth by the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative code. Any variances from the health code must be approved by the Geauga County Board of Health. The Water Systems division issues permits for installation of new private water systems and for alterations to existing systems. The division also provides water testing of private water systems.

Permits

Any homeowner or builder that is beginning construction of a new home is required to contact the Geauga County Health District for a lot evaluation. After evaluation new sewage and water well permits are issued.

An alteration is considered as a major change to the construction or configuration of an existing system such as adding an disinfecting device, deepening a well, replacing casing, etc. Private water systems are classified according to the type of dwelling, single family or multi-family dwelling. A single family dwelling is a home where only one family resides. A multi-family dwelling could be duplex home or some small business operations.

Private water system permits are good for one year. During this one-year time frame, the installation or alteration must be performed, the system must pass a final inspection, and the water supply must pass a water test to insure safety. The water test analyzes coliform bacteria and nitrates.

For Sale of or Re-financing of Property Forms

Coliform Bacteria

Positive results for coliform indicate that at least one coliform bacteria was found in the water sample collected and disease causing organisms may be present in your well. Coliform bacteria rarely occurs in ground water and is generally associated with animal and human waste products. If coliform bacteria have made their way into your well, other organisms might also be present that can cause sickness or death. This bacteria test does not look for pesticides, chemicals, hardness or any other water quality indicators.

Nitrate levels

Nitrates are chemicals that occur naturally in the environment when animal waste decomposes in the soil or water by microbes to form ammonia. This ammonia is then changed to nitrite and nitrate. Because nitrite is easily oxidized into nitrate, nitrate is the form that is generally found in ground water and surface water. Water can also be contaminated by nitrate through the use of nitrogen-containing fertilizers or products containing large amounts of ammonia and urea. Symptoms from short-term exposure to nitrate could include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting followed by dizziness, blurred vision, and progressive muscular paralysis. Infants who are fed formula diluted with water are more sensitive to nitrates because they have a higher intake of water for their body weight. Pregnant women are also more sensitive to nitrates.

Water Well Disinfection Process

Fees

Services rendered by the Geauga County Health District are subject to fees. Please refer to our current fee tables on the publications page.