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RULE §290.41Water Sources

(a) Water quality. The quality of water to be supplied must meet the quality criteria prescribed by the commission's drinking water standards contained in Subchapter F of this chapter (relating to Drinking Water Standards Governing Drinking Water Quality and Reporting Requirements for Public Water Systems).

(b) Water quantity. Sources of supply, both ground and surface, shall have a safe yield capable of supplying the maximum daily demands of the distribution system during extended periods of peak usage and critical hydrologic conditions. The pipelines and pumping capacities to treatment plants or distribution systems shall be adequate for such water delivery. Minimum capacities required are specified in §290.45 of this title (relating to Minimum Water System Capacity Requirements).

  (1) A retail public utility as defined by Texas Water Code, §13.002(19) and each entity from which the utility is obtaining wholesale water service for the utility's retail system shall report to the executive director when the utility or entity is reasonably certain that the water supply will be available for less than 180 days. The reporting must be accomplished by utilizing the online "PWS Drought Contingency Plan Reporting Form."

  (2) If reporting cannot be accomplished in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection, then the retail public utility or entity from which the utility is obtaining wholesale water service may report to the executive director by United States Postal Service mail, program e-mail, or facsimile.

(c) Groundwater sources and development.

  (1) Groundwater sources shall be located so that there will be no danger of pollution from flooding or from unsanitary surroundings, such as privies, sewage, sewage treatment plants, livestock and animal pens, solid waste disposal sites or underground petroleum and chemical storage tanks and liquid transmission pipelines, or abandoned and improperly sealed wells.

    (A) No well site which is within 50 feet of a tile or concrete sanitary sewer, sewerage appurtenance, septic tank, storm sewer, or cemetery; or which is within 150 feet of a septic tank perforated drainfield, areas irrigated by low dosage, low angle spray on-site sewage facilities, absorption bed, evapotranspiration bed, improperly constructed water well, or underground petroleum and chemical storage tank or liquid transmission pipeline will be acceptable for use as a public drinking water supply. Sanitary or storm sewers constructed of ductile iron or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe meeting American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards, having a minimum working pressure of 150 pounds per square inch (psi) or greater, and equipped with pressure type joints may be located at distances of less than 50 feet from a proposed well site, but in no case shall the distance be less than ten feet.

    (B) No well site shall be located within 500 feet of a sewage treatment plant or within 300 feet of a sewage wet well, sewage pumping station, or a drainage ditch which contains industrial waste discharges or the wastes from sewage treatment systems.

    (C) No water wells shall be located within 500 feet of animal feed lots, solid waste disposal sites, lands on which sewage plant or septic tank sludge is applied, or lands irrigated by sewage plant effluent.

    (D) Livestock in pastures shall not be allowed within 50 feet of water supply wells.

    (E) All known abandoned or inoperative wells (unused wells that have not been plugged) within 1/4-mile of a proposed well site shall be reported to the commission along with existing or potential pollution hazards. These reports are required for community and nontransient, noncommunity groundwater sources. Examples of existing or potential pollution hazards which may affect groundwater quality include, but are not limited to: landfill and dump sites, animal feedlots, military facilities, industrial facilities, wood-treatment facilities, liquid petroleum and petrochemical production, storage, and transmission facilities, Class 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 injection wells, and pesticide storage and mixing facilities. This information must be submitted prior to construction or as required by the executive director.

    (F) A sanitary control easement or sanitary control easements covering land within 150 feet of the well, or executive director approval for a substitute authorized by this subparagraph, shall be obtained.

      (i) The sanitary control easement(s) secured shall provide that none of the pollution hazards covered in subparagraphs (A) - (E) of this paragraph, or any facilities that might create a danger of pollution to the water to be produced from the well, will be located thereon.

      (ii) For the purpose of a sanitary control easement, an improperly constructed water well is one which fails to meet the surface and subsurface construction standards for public water supply wells. Residential type wells within a sanitary control easement must be constructed to public water well standards.

      (iii) A copy of the recorded sanitary control easement(s) shall be included with plans and specifications submitted to the executive director for review.

      (iv) With the approval of the executive director, the public water system may submit any of the following as a substitute for obtaining, recording, and submitting a copy of the recorded sanitary control easement(s) covering land within 150 feet of the well:

        (I) a copy of the recorded deed and map demonstrating that the public water system owns all real property within 150 feet of the well;

        (II) a copy of the recorded deed and map demonstrating that the public water system owns a portion of real property within 150 feet of the well, and a copy of the sanitary control easement(s) that the public water system has obtained, recorded, and submitted to the executive director applicable to the remaining portion of real property within 150 feet of the well not owned by the public water system; or

        (III) for a political subdivision, a copy of an ordinance or land use restriction adopted and enforced by the political subdivision which provides an equivalent or higher level of sanitary protection to the well as a sanitary control easement.

      (v) If the executive director approves a sanitary control easement substitute identified in clause (iv)(I) or (II) of this subparagraph for a public water system and the public water system conveys the property it owns within 150 feet of the well to another person or persons, the public water system must at that time obtain, record, and submit to the executive director a copy of the recorded sanitary control easement(s) applicable to the conveyed portion of the property within 150 feet of the well, unless the executive director approves a substitute identified in clause (iv) of this subparagraph.

  (2) The premises, materials, tools, and drilling equipment shall be maintained so as to minimize contamination of the groundwater during drilling operation.

    (A) Water used in any drilling operation shall be of safe sanitary quality. Water used in the mixing of drilling fluids or mud shall contain a chlorine residual of at least 0.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L).

    (B) The slush pit shall be constructed and maintained so as to minimize contamination of the drilling mud.

    (C) No temporary toilet facilities shall be maintained within 150 feet of the well being constructed unless they are of a sealed, leakproof type.

  (3) The construction, disinfection, protection, and testing of a well to be used as a public water supply source must meet the following conditions.

    (A) Before placing the well into service, a public water system shall furnish a copy of the well completion data, which includes the following items: the Driller's Log (geological log and material setting report); a cementing certificate; the results of a 36-hour pump test; the results of the microbiological and chemical analyses required by subparagraphs (F) and (G) of this paragraph; a legible copy of the recorded deed or deeds for all real property within 150 feet of the well; a legible copy of the sanitary control easement(s) or other documentation demonstrating compliance with paragraph (1)(F) of this subsection; an original or legible copy of a United States Geological Survey 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle showing the accurate well location to the executive director; and a map demonstrating the well location in relation to surrounding property boundaries. All the documents listed in this paragraph must be approved by the executive director before final approval is granted for the use of the well.

    (B) The casing material used in the construction of wells for public use shall be new carbon steel, high-strength low-alloy steel, stainless steel or plastic. The material shall conform to AWWA standards. The casing shall extend a minimum of 18 inches above the elevation of the finished floor of the pump room or natural ground surface and a minimum of one inch above the sealing block or pump motor foundation block when provided. The casing shall extend at least to the depth of the shallowest water formation to be developed and deeper, if necessary, in order to eliminate all undesirable water-bearing strata. Well construction materials containing more than 0.25% lead are prohibited.

    (C) The space between the casing and drill hole shall be sealed by using enough cement under pressure to completely fill and seal the annular space between the casing and the drill hole. The well casing shall be cemented in this manner from the top of the shallowest formation to be developed to the earth's surface. The driller shall utilize a pressure cementation method in accordance with the most current AWWA Standard for Water Wells (A100), Appendix C: Section C.2 (Positive Displacement Exterior Method); Section C.3 (Interior Method Without Plug); Section C.4 (Positive Placement, Interior Method, Drillable Plug); and Section C.5 (Placement Through Float Shoe Attached to Bottom of Casing). The grouting mixture used to pressure cement the annular space shall be neat cement as specified in the most current AWWA Standard for Water Wells and to which a maximum of 6%, by dry weight, bentonite and 2%, by dry weight, calcium chloride may be added. The minimum annular space between the outside diameter of the casing pipe and the borehole shall be no less than 1 1/2 inches in radial thickness or three inches in net diametrical difference and the pressure grouting shall be from the bottom upward utilizing one of the methods listed in this subparagraph for all public water system groundwater well construction. Cementation methods other than those listed in this subparagraph may be used on a site-specific basis with the prior written approval of the executive director. A cement bonding log, as well as any other documentation deemed necessary, may be required by the executive director to assure complete sealing of the annular space.

    (D) When a gravel packed well is constructed, all gravel shall be of selected and graded quality and shall be thoroughly disinfected with a 50 mg/L chlorine solution as it is added to the well cavity.

    (E) Safeguards shall be taken to prevent possible contamination of the water or damage by trespassers following the completion of the well and prior to installation of permanent pumping equipment.

    (F) Upon well completion, or after an existing well has been reworked, the well shall be disinfected in accordance with current AWWA standards for well disinfection except that the disinfectant shall remain in the well for at least six hours.

      (i) Before placing the well in service, the water containing the disinfectant shall be flushed from the well and then samples of water shall be collected and submitted for microbiological analysis until three successive daily raw water samples are free of coliform organisms. The analysis of these samples must be conducted by a laboratory accredited by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

      (ii) Appropriate facilities for treatment of the water shall be provided where a satisfactory microbiological record cannot be established after repeated disinfection. The extent of water treatment required will be determined on the basis of geological data, well construction features, nearby sources of contamination and, perhaps, on the basis of quantitative microbiological analyses.

    (G) A complete physical and chemical analysis of the water produced from a new well shall be made after 36 hours of continuous pumping at the design withdrawal rate. Shorter pump test periods can be accepted for large capacity wells producing from areas of known groundwater production and quality so as to prevent wasting of water. Samples must be submitted to an accredited laboratory for chemical analyses. Tentative approval may be given on the basis of tests performed by in-plant or private laboratories, but final acceptance by the commission shall be on the basis of results from the accredited laboratory. Appropriate treatment shall be provided if the analyses reveal that the water from the well fails to meet the water quality criteria as prescribed by the drinking water standards. These criteria include turbidity, color and threshold odor limitations, and excessive hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, or other constituents or minerals which make the water undesirable or unsuited for domestic use. Additional chemical and microbiological tests may be required after the executive director conducts a vulnerability assessment of the well.

    (H) Below ground-level pump rooms and pump pits will not be allowed in connection with water supply installations.


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