Groundwater treatment systems are broken into two categories. They are the construction of new wells and the modification of existing wells. Construction for either of these two categories will require a construction permit before the work is started and a permit to operate before being used.
To receive a construction permit, it is required that the plans, specifications and design calculations for the proposed project be submitted to the appropriate Section of DHEC for review and approval. Refer to Regulation 61-58.2 for information on groundwater sources and their treatment.
New Wells: Two-Step
The two-step method, which is more common and generally easier, requires that a test well permit be issued first. This allows the applicant to drill the proposed test well and install the minimum material (i.e. well casing, well screen, measuring device and temporary pump) needed for well testing. The test well submittal package must include at least four (4) copies of the site plan layout, three (3) copies of the well profile, an original application with two (2) copies and three copies of the location map. This package must be under the seal and signature of a State of SC professional engineer.
When received, it will be given an administrative review and then assigned to a project manager. Once the review is complete and it is considered to be approvable, then a permit to drill the test well will be issued.
After the test well has been drilled, the quality and quantity of well water will be analyzed. If found acceptable, then a follow-up application to the test well should be submitted to DHEC for review and approval of the production well step. Note that if the analysis shows the well is of poor quality then the test well must be properly abandoned. Refer to Regulation 61-58.2(B)(15) for proper well abandonment procedure (this should also be covered in the test well specifications). The follow-up material must contain four (4) copies of the design plans, three (3) copies of the specifications and design calculations and an original application with two (2) copies. All relevant information to the design of the production well must be included (i.e. wellhead piping, pump test, parameter analysis, etc.).
When review of this material is complete and the package is found acceptable with meeting the requirements of the regulations, then a permit to construct a production well is given. Upon completion of this construction, the project will be inspected and given a permit to operate if found acceptable.
New Wells: One-Step
The second method for permitting a drinking water well is as a one-step permit. This type of permit combines both the test well and production well into one. For this to be done all the material for both the test well and production (see two-step above for submittal package contents) well, along with sufficient background data from local wells, must be submitted to DHEC for review and approval. The data from local wells is needed to help aid in determining the groundwater quality and quantity in the area.
Once all items have been reviewed and approved, then a construction permit for both the test well and production well is issued as a combined permit. Upon completion of this construction, the project will be inspected, and if found acceptable, given a permit to operate.
Modifications to Existing Well Systems
All projects involved with making any modifications (e.g. chemical feed, filter system, storage tank, etc.) to an existing well system will be required to obtain a construction permit prior to the actual construction.
The proper project material must be submitted to DHEC for review and approval before a construction permit may be issued. The material package must consist of four (4) copies of the plans, three (3) copies of the specifications and design calculations, an original application with two (2) copies and three (3) copies of the location map. This package must be under the seal and signature of a State of SC professional engineer. All pertinent information concerning the project design and construction must be included (e.g., chemical feed calculations, pump curves, filter size and rate, pipe layout, etc.).
Once received, it will be given an administrative review and then assigned to a project manager. When the review is complete and it is considered to be approvable, a permit to construct will be issued. Upon completion of this construction, the project will be inspected, and if found acceptable, given a permit to operate.
- Richard Welch, Jr. P.E., Manager, Drinking Water & Recreational Waters Compliance, (803) 898-3546