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Hurricane Irma Information for Private/Residential Well Owners

Before The Storm:

Owners of private drinking water wells should seal their well by plugging or covering all openings before the storm to help prevent the well from becoming contaminated by flood waters.

After The Storm:

Wells should be inspected after the storm for damage. Any plug or covering on the casing vent should be removed.

If your well has been flooded, the well needs to be disinfected and tested before the water can be used safely. We recommend that you use bottled water or boil your water until you receive the results indicating it is safe to drink your water again. Disinfection should not be attempted until after the storm passes and the flood waters recede.

You must wait 7-10 days after you disinfect the well before you collect a sample.

Disinfection instructions can be found on our website at Use only regular chlorine bleach for disinfection. Do not use splashless, scented, or concentrated bleach.

Contact your local Environmental Affairs Office for more information on sample bottle pickup locations. You must collect the sample 7 to 10 days after disinfection (no sooner). If you have questions regarding your private/residential well, call 1-888-761-5989.

If your well was not flooded, the water quality will be the same as before the flood. It is recommended that all private wells be sampled for coliform bacteria on a routine basis. For more information, please visit:

Overview: Private Drinking Water Wells

State Regulation requires that the Department be notified of a private drinking water well or irrigation well before installation. Private drinking water wells are also called residential wells or domestic wells.

Step One:

  • The well owner or well driller will complete the one-page Notice of Intent (NOI) form (Form 3647) and submit it to SCDHEC, Private Well Program, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, S.C. 29201.
  • There is a fee of $70 for a drinking water well or $50 for an irrigation well (The $20.00 difference is to provide water quality testing).

Step Two:

  • The well driller contacts the local EQC Regional Office to provide the time and date of drilling 48 hours before drilling begins. This notice will provide the opportunity for a SCDHEC inspector to observe the well's installation.
  • Construction standards still need to conform to the Well Standards, R.61-71.
  • The 48-hour notice can be concurrent with Step One. That is, the 48 hours can begin when the NOI is received by SCDHEC.

This new regulation applies only to individual residential or irrigation wells. If a proposed well is to serve a small business, such as a service station, it is a Public Water Supply and needs to follow the Water Supply permitting procedures.


Toll Free Telephone Number: 1-888-761-5989

Toll Free Fax Number: 1-888-761-6681

Greg Withycombe, (803) 898-3232