To ensure that new, back-up, or replacement large production wells will be capable of consistently producing an adequate supply of water that meets drinking water quality standards for community water systems.
Large community well siting approval is required to be obtained by all community water systems that propose to develop new, back-up, or replacement large production wells; propose to deepen or otherwise improve existing large production wells to increase their capacity; or propose to reactivate inactive large production wells. A large production well is one developed to produce a volume of water equal to or greater than 57,600 gallons in any 24-hour period.
Statute and Administrative Rules
RSA 485:8 New Hampshire Safe Drinking Water Act/Public Water Supply Protection Program/Approval of Construction Plans
RSA 485:48 New Hampshire Safe Drinking Water Act/Public Water Supply Protection Program/Wellhead Protection
Env-Dw 302 Large Production Wells for Community Water Systems
Application requirements are specified in Env-Dw 302 Large Production Wells for Community Water Systems.
Applicants for large community well siting approval are also typically required to obtain a Large Groundwater Withdrawal Permit.
Requirements also include submitting a water conservation plan along with the preliminary report. See Water Conservation Plan Guidance Document for Community Water Systems .
The entire permitting process typically takes a minimum of 18 months following the submittal of a complete preliminary report application. The length of and timeline for the permitting process is summarized in item No. 8 of DES fact sheet Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Large Groundwater Withdrawal Permitting in New Hampshire . More information on processing times is available below.
Approval for new large production wells lapses in four years if the well is not connected to the water system within that time and an extension is not granted by DES. If approval lapses, the applicant must satisfy requirements in Env-Dw 302 to regain approval. The approval does not lapse if the well is connected to the water system within four years of the well’s approval.
Requests to modify conditions of approval are subject to review and approval by DES. Modifications to the conditions of approval may be requested in writing to the New Community Well Sitings Program. The New Community Well Sitings Program may also modify the terms and conditions of approval based on a review of the information submitted to meet approval conditions.
Approvals are transferable as part of a change in ownership of a community water system. Notification of a change in ownership of a community water system shall be made to the Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau in accordance with Env-Dw 503.05. Contact Jane Murray at [email protected] or (603) 271-3139 for more information about the notification requirements.
The New Community Well Sitings Program makes every effort to process preliminary and final reports submitted in support of an application within the required 45-day written comment period and provide comments shortly after the close of the comment period. However, the extent of public involvement, complexity of the project, and degree of completeness of the submittal may increase the processing time. Supplemental information in support of a permit application is typically processed within 30 days of receipt. Applications for replacement well approval are typically processed within 30 days of receipt.
Timeline information regarding public input on a preliminary or final report is summarized in fact sheet Large Groundwater Withdrawals Approval and Notification Requirements (Fact Sheet WD-DWGB-22-11).
New Community Well Sitings Program or (603) 271-8866.
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