WSR 98-08-032

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY

[Order 97-08--Filed March 23, 1998, 9:50 a.m.]



Date of Adoption: March 19, 1998

Purpose: Chapter 173-160 WAC, Minimum standards for construction and maintenance of wells. The purpose of this regulation is to establish the minimum standards for the construction of all wells in Washington

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 173-160-055 Well construction notification (start card), 173-160-065 Design and construction, 173-160-075 Design and construction--Sealing of casing--General, 173-160-085 Capping, 173-160-095 Relationship to other authorities, 173-160-105 Comparable construction standards, 173-160-115 Enforcement, 173-160-125 Appeals, 173-160-135 Regulation review, 173-160-205 Location of well site and access requirements, 173-160-215 Design and construction--Well completion--General, 173-160-225 Design and construction--Casing, 173-160-235 Recommended well diameters, 173-160-245 Design and construction--Sealing materials, 173-160-255 Design and construction--Sealing of consolidated formations, 173-160-265 Sealing of unconsolidated formations without significant clay beds, 173-160-275 Sealing of unconsolidated formations with clay beds, 173-160-285 Special sealing standards for artesian wells, 173-160-295 Artificial gravel-packed wells--General, 173-160-305 Sealing of artificial gravel-packed wells, 173-160-315 Sealing of dug wells, 173-160-325 Special standards for driven or jetted wells, 173-160-335 Upper terminal of well, 173-160-345 Testing of well, 173-160-355 Testing of well--Access port or pressure gage, 173-160-365 Disinfection, 173-160-375 Quality of drilling water, 173-160-385 Pump installation, 173-160-395 Explosives, 173-160-405 Chemical conditioning, 173-160-415 Abandonment of wells, 173-160-425 Abandonment of wells--Abandonment of drilled or jetted wells, 173-160-435 Abandonment of wells--Abandonment of gravel-packed wells, 173-160-445 Abandonment of wells--Abandonment of artesian wells, 173-160-455 Abandonment of wells--Abandonment of dug wells, 173-160-465 Abandonment of wells--Plugging of test wells, 173-160-475 Artificial recharge of ground-water bodies, 173-160-500 Design and construction--General, 173-160-510 Design and construction--Surface protective measures, 173-160-520 Design and construction--Casing, 173-160-530 Design and construction--Cleaning, 173-160-540 Design and construction--Well screen, filter pack, and development, 173-160-550 Design and construction--Well seals, and 173-160-560 Abandonment of resource protection wells; and amending WAC 173-160-010 What is the purpose of this regulation? WAC 173-160-020 When will this regulation be renewed? WAC 173-160-030 How does this regulation relate to other authorities? WAC 173-160-040 What are the departments enforcement options?

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 18.104 RCW

Other Authority: RCW 43.21A.080

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 98-04-020 on January 28, 1998

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: What are the main differences between the proposed rule and the rule that is being adopted? The following section describes the main differences between the text of the proposed rule as published in the register and the text of the adopted rule, other than editing changes. A complete listing of all comments received and resulting text changes is found in the concise explanatory statement.

WAC 173-160-121 What should I know about drilling a well that requires a water right permit? The intent of this section is to state that any well that is not exempted from obtaining a water right can not be drilled until a water right permit has been issued by ecology.

Change: The first paragraph in this section has been rewritten to simply say that if a ground water withdrawal is not exempt under the law (RCW 90.44.050) then the well cannot be drilled until the owner obtains a water right permit from ecology.

WAC 173-160-131 Under what circumstances am I required to meter my water use? Several comments were received that expressed total disagreement with having a metering section within this regulation. The original proposal was changed to clarify that until ecology develops specific metering and reporting requirements, metering may be required for permitted wells or for specific wells or specific groundwater uses.

WAC 173-160-151 Does the department require prior notice and fees for constructing, reconstructing, or decommissioning wells? Subsection (5)(c) was rewritten to allow for telephonic notification within twenty-four hours of the decommissioning with follow-up written notice within seventy-two hours. This will allow the driller to decommission a "dry hole" without having to wait the normal seventy-two hours. It will save the property owner time and get an unusable well decommissioned quicker.

WAC 173-160-171 What are the requirements for the location of the well site and access to the well?

Change: Subsection (1) was rewritten to remove ". . . not subject to flooding" and insert ". . . not in the flood way." This was intended to clarify where well can be placed adjacent to surface water.

WAC 173-160-221 What are the standards for sealing materials? The change to this section establishes a performance standard that states the desired result. This will allow a broader basis for evaluation. In this section, the end results are seals free of voids, bridges, or organic polymers.

Change: Subsection rewritten to remove the reference to "tamping tool" and pour rates. Polymers are allowed if they do not promote growth of microorganisms.

WAC 173-160-231 What are the standards for surface seals? Subsection (7) in the proposed rule was intended to reduce the number of siting variance requests that fall between 75 and 100 feet from sources of contamination. The on-site sewage regulations (chapter 246-272 WAC) require maintenance of 100 feet between the drainfield/reserve area and the well. Allowing wells to be siting between 75 and 100 feet from drainfields or any other potential source of contamination would be inconsistent with chapter 246-272 WAC and confusing to the public and the drilling profession.

Change: Subsection (7) was removed.

WAC 173-160-291 What are the standards for the upper terminal of water wells?

Change: The draft rule required that only a licensed driller could replace any portion of a surface seal. This was contrary to opinion of pump installers who regularly remove small portions of the surface seal to install pitless adapters. The department agrees that anyone should be able to replace a small portion of a surface seal. The requirement to have a licensed driller replace a portion of a surface seal has been eliminated.

WAC 173-160-321 How do I test a well?

Change: This section was rewritten to prohibit bailer tests on public water supply wells.

A bailer cannot achieve a continuous rate of withdrawal. This will have an adverse impact on the accuracy of the test data.

WAC 173-160-331 How do I make sure my equipment and the well are free of contaminants? Subsection (5) was reworded to leave out the methodology and state only the desired result. The suggestion was to allow the use of disinfectants agents other than chlorine in subsection (4) and leave out methodology in subsection (5). Setting a performance standard of allowing the use of safe and nonpolluting disinfecting agents will be less limiting for the drillers while achieving the goal of disinfecting equipment and the well.

Change: The subsection was rewritten to allow the use of any disinfecting agent that is safe, nonpolluting, and that will not impair potability

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 7, amended 0, repealed 7.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 15, amended 0, repealed 44.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, amended 1, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 18, amended 0, repealed 44.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 41, amended 6, repealed 44; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

March 19, 1998

Tom Fitzsimmons

Director

OTS-1627.2

((PART ONE--GENERAL)) REQUIREMENTS THAT APPLY TO ALL WELLS



AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 88-58, filed 4/6/88)



WAC 173-160-010  ((Purpose.)) What is the purpose of this regulation? (((1) These regulations are adopted pursuant to chapter 18.104 RCW, in order to establish minimum standards for the construction of all wells in the state of Washington. These regulations establish minimum construction standards for two classes of wells; water supply wells and resource protection wells. Water supply wells include wells used to appropriate water for beneficial purposes, cased dewatering wells, and test wells. Resource protection wells include: Monitoring wells, observation wells, piezometers, geotechnical test borings, and spill response wells.

(2) Provisions of Part One shall apply to all wells. Provisions of Part Two shall apply to water supply wells. Provisions of Part Three shall apply to resource protection wells.

(3) The following are excluded from these regulations:

(a) Excavations that are not used to locate, divert, artificially recharge, or withdraw ground water.

(b) Post holes.

(c) Landfill gas extraction wells.

(d) An excavation for the purpose of obtaining or prospecting for oil, natural gas, minerals, products of mining, quarrying, inserting media to repressure oil or natural gas bearing formations, storing petroleum, natural gas, or other products, as provided in chapter 78.52 RCW.

(e) Injection wells, such as storm water disposal or recharge wells regulated in chapter 173-218 WAC.

(f) Cathodic protection wells.

(g) Uncaged wells used for dewatering purposes in construction work, and other uncaged excavations, such as uncaged geotechnical test borings. However, the provisions of WAC 173-160-055, 173-160-010(4), and 173-160-420 shall apply.

(h) Infiltration galleries, trenches, ponds, pits, and sumps.

(4) Pursuant to chapter 90.48 RCW, those excavations excluded in subsection (3)(a) through (h) of this section shall be constructed and abandoned to ensure protection of the ground water resource and to prevent the contamination of that resource.)) (1) These regulations are adopted under chapter 18.104 RCW, to establish minimum standards for the construction and decommissioning of all wells in the state of Washington.

(2) The following are excluded from these regulations:

(a) Any excavation that is not intended to locate, divert, artificially recharge, observe, monitor, dewater, or withdraw ground water for agricultural, municipal, industrial, domestic, or commercial use except resource protection wells and geotechnical soil borings.

(b) Any excavation for the purpose of obtaining or prospecting for oil, natural gas, minerals, products of mining, quarrying, inserting media to repressure oil or natural gas bearing formations, storing petroleum, natural gas, or other products, as provided in chapter 78.52 RCW.

(c) Injection wells regulated in chapter 173-218 WAC.

(d) Infiltration or exfiltration galleries, trenches, ponds, pits, and sumps.

(3) Under chapter 90.48 RCW, those excavations excluded in subsection (2)(a) through (d) of this section shall be constructed, maintained, and decommissioned to ensure protection of the ground water resource and to prevent the contamination and waste of that resource.



[Statutory Authority: Chapter 18.104 RCW. 88-08-070 (Order 88-58), 173-160-010, filed 4/6/88; Order 73-6, 173-160-010, filed 4/30/73.]



AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 88-58, filed 4/6/88)



WAC 173-160-030  ((Definitions.)) When will this regulation be reviewed? ((As used in this chapter:

(1) "Abandoned well" is a well which has been filled or plugged so it is rendered unproductive. A properly abandoned well will not produce water nor serve as a channel for movement of water.

(2) "Access port" is a 1/2- to 2-inch tapped hole or tube equipped with a screw cap, which provides access to the inner casing, for measurement of the depth to water surface.

(3) "Annular space" is the space between the surface or outer casing and the inner casing, or the space between the wall of the drilled hole and the casing.

(4) "Aquifer" is a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation capable of yielding a significant amount of ground water to wells or springs.

(5) "Artesian well" is a well tapping an aquifer bounded above and below by impermeable beds or beds of distinctly lower permeability than the aquifer itself. The water will rise in the well above the point of initial penetration (above the bottom of the confining or impermeable layer overlying the aquifer). This term includes both flowing and nonflowing wells.

(6) "Artificial gravel pack" is a mixture of gravel and/or sand placed in the annular space around the well screen. A gravel pack is used to reduce the movement of finer material into the well reduce the movement of finer material into the well, increase the well yield and provide lateral support to the screen in unstable formations.

(7) "Artificial recharge" is the addition of water to an aquifer by activities of man, such as irrigation or induced infiltration from streams, or injection through wells.

(8) "Bentonite" is a mixture of swelling clay minerals, predominantly sodium montmorillonite.

(9) "Capped well" is a well that is not in use and has a watertight seal or cap installed on top of the casing.

(10) "Casing" is a pipe, generally of metal or plastic, which is installed in the bore hole to maintain the opening.

(11) "Curbing" is a liner or pipe made of concrete, precast tile or steel installed in dug wells to provide a space between the well bore and the liner for sealing.

(12) "Consolidated formation" means any geologic formation in which the earth materials have become firm and coherent through natural rock forming processes. Such rocks commonly found in Washington include basalt, granite, sandstone, shale, conglomerate, and limestone. An uncased drill hole will normally remain open in these formations.

(13) "Contamination" is an impairment of natural ground water quality by biological, chemical, physical, or radiological materials which lower the water quality to a degree which creates a potential hazard to the environment, public health, or interferes with a beneficial use.

(14) "Department" means the department of ecology.

(15) "Disinfection" is the use of chlorine, or other disinfecting agent or process approved by the department, in sufficient concentration and contact time adequate to inactivate coliform or other indicator organisms.

(16) "Domestic water supply" is any water supply serving one or more single family residences.

(17) "Drawdown" is the measured difference between the static water level and the water level induced by pumping.

(18) "Drilled well" is a well in which the hole is usually excavated by mechanical means such as rotary, cable tool, or auger rigs.

(19) "Driven well" is a well constructed by joining a "drive point" to a length of pipe, then driving the assembly into the ground.

(20) "Dug well" is a well generally excavated with hand tools or by mechanical methods. The side walls may be supported by material other than standard weight steel casing.

(21) "Filter pack" means clean, well rounded, smooth, uniform, sand or gravel, which is placed in the annulus of the well between the borehole wall and the well screen to prevent formation material from entering the well.

(22) "Formation" means an assemblage of earth materials grouped together into a unit that is convenient for description or mapping.

(23) "Geotechnical test boring" means any temporary cased borehole completed primarily for the purpose of obtaining geologic, or geotechnical data about subsurface soil or rock conditions, and/or for determining ground water levels.

(24) "Grout" is a fluid mixture of cement, bentonite, and water used to seal the annular space around or between well casings, or to fill and seal abandoned wells.

(25) "Impermeable" is a descriptive term for earth materials which have a texture or structure that does not permit fluids to perceptibly move into or through its pores or interstices.

(26) "Licensee" is any person who is licensed as a well contractor pursuant to the provisions of this act and these rules.

(27) "Liner" means any casing, screen, or other device inserted into a larger casing, screen, or open hole as a means of sealing off undesirable material or maintaining the structural integrity of the well.

(28) "Landfill gas extraction well" is a well used to withdraw gas from an unsaturated zone.

(29) "Monitoring well" is a well designed to obtain a representative ground water sample and/or to measure the water level elevation over the screened interval.

(30) "Observation well" is a well designed to measure the depth to the water table. An observation well is screened across the water table and usually is installed in unconfined aquifers.

(31) "Operator" is any person employed by a well contractor or self-employed as a contractor-operator for the control and supervision of well construction or for the operation of well construction equipment.

(32) "Permeability" means the case with which a porous material allows liquid or gaseous fluids to flow through it. For water, this is usually expressed in units of centimeters per second and termed hydraulic conductivity. Soils and synthetic liners with a permeability for water of 1 x 107 cm/sec or less may be considered impermeable.

(33) "Piezometer well" is a well designed to measure the hydraulic potential (water level elevation) at a specific point in the subsurface. A piezometer has a short screen that is positioned entirely beneath the water table.

(34) "Pressure grouting" is a method of forcing grout into specific portions of a well for sealing purposes.

(35) "PTFE" means polytetrafluoroethylene casing materials (such as teflon) and is not an endorsement for any specific PTFE product.

(36) "Public water supply" is any water supply intended or used for human consumption or other domestic uses, including source, treatment, storage, transmission and distribution facilities where water is furnished to any community, collection or number of individuals, available to the public for human consumption or domestic use, excluding water supplies serving one single family residence.

(37) "Puddling clay" is a mixture of at least fifty percent bentonite and fine sand material which seals out or retards the movement of water.

(38) "PVC" means polyvinyl chloride a type of thermoplastic casing.

(39) "Resource protection wells" mean monitoring wells, observation wells, piezometers and spill response wells, and cased geotechnical test borings.

(40) "Spill response well" is any well used to capture or recover any spilled or leaked fluid which has the potential to, or has contaminated the ground water.

(41) "Static water level" is the vertical distance from the surface of the ground to the water level in a well when the water level is not effected by pumping or free flow.

(42) "Temporary surface casing" is a length of casing (at least four inches larger in diameter than the permanent casing) which is temporarily installed during well construction to maintain the annular space.

(43) "Test well" is a well (either cased or uncased), constructed to determine the quantity of water available for beneficial uses identifying underlying rock formations (lithology), and to locate optimum zones to be screened or perforated.

If a test well is constructed with the intent to withdraw water for beneficial use, it must be constructed in accordance with the minimum standards for water supply wells, otherwise they shall be constructed in accordance with the minimum standards for resource protection wells.

(44) "Tremie tube" is a small diameter pipe used to place grout, filter pack material, or other well construction materials in a well.

(45) "Unconsolidated formation" means any naturally occurring, loosely cemented or poorly indurated earth material including such materials as uncompacted gravel, sand, silt and clay. Alluvium, soil, and overburden are terms frequently used to describe such formations.

(46) "Water supply well" means any well that is used to withdraw, dewater, or recharge ground water.

(47) "Well" means and includes any excavation that is drilled, cored, bored, washed, driven, dug, jetted, or otherwise constructed when the intended use of an excavation is for the location, diversion, artificial recharge, or withdrawal of ground water. Well includes water-supply well and resource protection well. Well does not mean excavations excluded in WAC 173-160-010(3).

(48) "Well contractor" means any person, firm, partnership, copartnership, corporation, association, or other entity engaged in the business of constructing wells.

(49) "Well driller" is synonymous with "operator."

(50) "Well rig" is any power driven, percussion, rotary, boring, digging, jetting or auguring machine used in the construction of a well.)) (1) The department of ecology shall initiate review of the rules established in this chapter:

(a) When new information, changing conditions, or statutory modifications make it necessary to consider revisions; or

(b) When statutes require the review of this regulation, whichever comes first.

(2) The technical advisory group (TAG) established under chapter 18.104 RCW shall assist the department in the development and revision of rules.



[Statutory Authority: Chapter 18.104 RCW. 88-08-070 (Order 88-58), 173-160-030, filed 4/6/88; Order 73-6, 173-160-030, filed 4/30/73.]



AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 91-27, filed 11/19/91, effective 12/20/91)



WAC 173-160-040  ((Permit.)) How does this regulation relate to other authorities? ((As provided in RCW 90.44.050, no well shall be constructed if a withdrawal of more than five thousand gallons a day or irrigation of more than one-half acre of noncommercial lawn and garden is contemplated, unless an application to appropriate such waters has been made to the department and a permit has been granted.

As provided in WAC 173-548-050, no wells shall be constructed for any purposes in subbasins closed in the Methow water resources regulation, including those exempt from permitting under RCW 90.44.050, unless written approval has been obtained from the department prior to beginning well construction.)) (1) Nothing in these regulations may be construed to waive any legal requirements of other state agencies or local governmental entities relating to well construction, nor may it preclude the adoption of more stringent minimum well construction standards by local government.

(2) Well contractors shall be familiar with all state and local well construction requirements for their job sites prior to initiating construction.



[Statutory Authority: Chapters 34.05, 90.54, 18.104, 90.03 and 90.44 RCW. 91-23-093 (Order 91-27), 173-160-040, filed 11/19/91, effective 12/20/91. Statutory Authority: Chapter 18.104 RCW. 88-08-070 (Order 88-58), 173-160-040, filed 4/6/88; Order 73-6, 173-160-040, filed 4/30/73.]



AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 88-58, filed 4/6/88)



WAC 173-160-050  ((Records.)) What are the department's enforcement options? (((1) Every well contractor, within thirty days after completion of a well, is required to submit a complete record on the construction or alteration of the well to the department. This shall apply to all water supply and resource protection wells. The well record shall be made on a form provided by the department, or a reasonable facsimile, as approved by the department.

(2) The water supply and test well record shall include the following information, where applicable, as a minimum: Location of well to at least 1/4, 1/4 section or smallest legal subdivision; intended use of well; the depth, diameter, and general specifications of each well; the depth, thickness and character of each bed, stratum or formation penetrated by each well; and the commercial specifications of all casing, also of each screen or perforated zone in the casing; the tested capacity of each well in gallons per minute; for each nonflowing well, the depth to the static water level, as measured below the land surface, and also the drawdown of the water level at the end of the well capacity test; for each flowing well, the shut-in pressure measured above the land surface, or in pounds per square inch at the land surface, and such additional factual information as reasonably may be required by the department.

(3) The well record shall be made on a form provided by the department, or a reasonable facsimile, as approved by the department. The resource protection well record shall include the following information as a minimum: Project name, if appropriate; location of well to at least 1/4, 1/4 section or smallest legal subdivision; land surface datum; well identification number; diameter; depth, and general specifications of each well; the depth thickness and character of each bed, stratum or formation penetrated by each well; and commercial specifications of all casing and screen; as-built diagram; and additional information as required by the department.)) The department may impose the sanctions that are appropriate under authorities vested in it, including:

(1) The issuance of regulatory orders under RCW 43.27A.190;

(2) Civil penalties under RCW 90.03.600 and 18.104.155; and

(3) Criminal penalties under RCW 18.104.160.



[Statutory Authority: Chapter 18.104 RCW. 88-08-070 (Order 88-58), 173-160-050, filed 4/6/88; Order 73-6, 173-160-050, filed 4/30/73.]



NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-061  May I appeal the department's decision? (1) Yes. All final, written decisions of the department of ecology pertaining to permits, regulatory orders, and related decisions made under this chapter are subject to review by the pollution control hearings board in accordance with chapter 43.21B RCW.

(2) If you wish to appeal a decision of the department of ecology, you must appeal it before that board.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-071  May I appeal decisions made by delegated authorities? (1) Yes. Any person who feels aggrieved by a decision made by a local health district or county under delegated authority may appeal the decision to the department of ecology.

(2) The appeal must be made within thirty days of receipt of the decision.

(3) An appeal to the department shall contain at least the following information:

(a) Name, address, and phone number of appealing party;

(b) Copy of the decision under appeal;

(c) A clear statement of what issues are disputed;

(d) A clear statement of what relief the appellant is seeking.

(4) The department will consider the appeal, and either affirm, reverse, or modify the decision of the delegated authority. A written response shall be provided to the applicant and the delegated authority within thirty days of the department's receipt of the appeal.

(5) The department's decision is subject to review by the pollution control hearings board, in accordance with chapter 43.21B RCW.



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PART ONE--GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR WATER WELL CONSTRUCTION



NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-101  What are the general standards that apply to all water wells? The following minimum standards apply to all water wells constructed and decommissioned in the state of Washington. It is the responsibility and liability of the water well operator who constructs the well, the property owner, and the water well contractor, to take whatever measures are necessary to guard against waste and contamination of the ground water resources.

(1) It is necessary in some cases to construct and decommission wells with additional requirements beyond the minimum standards. Additional requirements may be necessary when the well is constructed or decommissioned in, or adjacent to a known, or potential source of contamination. Examples of sources, or potential sources of contamination are found in the well siting section, WAC 173-160-171.

(2) Nothing in these regulations limits the department's authority to approve comparable alternative specifications for well construction as technology in the industry develops, or new and comparable methods of construction become known to the department.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-106  How do I apply for a variance on a water well? (1) When strict compliance with the requirements and standards of this chapter are impractical, any person may request a variance to the department from a regulation or regulations. The application for variance must propose a comparable alternative specification that will provide equal or greater human health and resource protection than the minimum standards. Application for a variance shall be made in writing and approved prior to the construction or decommissioning of the well.

(2) The variance application shall contain at least the following information:

(a) Name, address, and phone number of the person requesting the variance;

(b) Address of well site;

(c) 1/4, 1/4, section, township, range;

(d) The specific regulation(s) that cannot be followed;

(e) The comparable alternative specification;

(f) Justification for the request.

(3) The variance application will be evaluated, and a response will be given within fourteen days. In a public health emergency or other exceptional circumstance, verbal notification for a variance may be given. An emergency usually consists of a well failure resulting in a dry well or an unusable well. Driller convenience does not constitute an emergency.

(4) The emergency variance recipient must immediately follow up with a written notification to the department so that a permanent record is made of the variance.

(5) Local health districts or counties with delegated authority may grant variances under the provision chapter 18.104 delegated authority.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-111  What are the definitions of specific words as used in this chapter? (1) "Abandoned well" means a well that is unused, unmaintained, or is in such disrepair as to be unusable.

(2) "Access port" is a 1/2- to 2-inch tapped hole or tube equipped with a screw cap, which provides access to the inner casing, for measurement of the depth to water surface. An access port also means a removable cap.

(3) "Annular space" is the space between the surface or outer casing and the inner casing, or the space between the wall of the drilled hole and the casing.

(4) "Aquifer" is a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation capable of yielding a significant amount of ground water to wells or springs.

(5) "Artesian well" is a well tapping an aquifer bounded above and below by confining or impermeable rock or soil layers, or rock or soil layers of distinctly lower permeability than the aquifer itself. The water will rise in the well above the point of initial penetration (above the bottom of the confining or impermeable layer overlying the aquifer). This term includes both flowing and nonflowing wells.

(6) "Artificial gravel pack" is a mixture of gravel or sand placed in the annular space around the liner, perforated pipe, or well screen. A gravel pack is used to reduce the movement of finer material into the well and provide lateral support to the screen in unstable formations.

(7) "Artificial recharge" is the addition of water to an aquifer by activities of man, such as irrigation or induced infiltration from streams, or injection through wells, trenches, pits, and ponds.

(8) "Bentonite" is a mixture of swelling clay minerals, predominantly sodium montmorillonite.

(9) "Capped well" is a well that is not in use and has a watertight seal or cap installed on top of the casing.

(10) "Casing" is a pipe, generally made of metal or plastic, which is installed in the bore hole to maintain the opening.

(11) "Consolidated formation" means any geologic formation in which the earth materials have become firm and cohesive through natural rock forming processes. Such rocks commonly found in Washington include basalt, granite, sandstone, shale, conglomerate, and limestone. An uncased bore hole will normally remain open in these formations.

(12) "Constructing a well" or "construct a well" means:

(a) Boring, digging, drilling, or excavating a well;

(b) Installing casing, sheeting, lining, or well screens, in a well; or

(c) Drilling a geotechnical soil boring.

"Constructing a well" or "construct a well" includes the alteration of an existing well.

(13)"Contamination" has the meaning provided in RCW 90.48.020.

(14) "Curbing" is a liner or pipe made of concrete, precast tile or steel installed in dug wells to provide an annular space between the well bore and the liner or pipe for sealing.

(15) "Decommissioning" means to fill or plug a well so that it will not produce water, serve as a channel for movement of water or pollution, or allow the entry of pollutants into the well or aquifer(s).

(16) "Department" means the department of ecology.

(17) "Dewatering well" means a cased or lined excavation or boring that is intended to withdraw or divert ground water for the purpose of facilitating construction, stabilizing a land slide, or protecting an aquifer.

(18) "Director" means director of the department of ecology.

(19) "Disinfection" or "disinfecting" is the use of chlorine, or other disinfecting agent or process approved by the department, in sufficient concentration and contact time adequate to inactivate coliform or other indicator organisms.

(20) "Domestic water supply" is any water supply which serves a family residence(s).

(21) "Draw down" is the measured difference between the static ground water level and the ground water level induced by pumping.

(22) "Drilled well" is a well in which the hole is usually excavated by mechanical means such as rotary, cable tool, or auger drilling equipment.

(23) "Driven well" is a well constructed by joining a "drive point" to a length of pipe, then driving the assembly into the ground.

(24) "Dug well" is a well generally excavated with hand tools or by mechanical methods. The side walls may be supported by material other than standard weight steel casing.

(25) "Filter pack" means clean, well rounded, smooth, uniform, sand or gravel, which is placed in the annulus of the well between the bore hole wall and the liner, perforated pipe, or well screen to prevent formation material from entering the well.

(26) "Formation" means an assemblage of earth materials grouped together into a unit that is convenient for description or mapping.

(27) "Ground water" means and includes ground waters as defined in RCW 90.40.035.

(28) "Grout" is a fluid mixture of cement, bentonite, and water used to seal the annular space around or between well casings, or to decommission wells.

(29) "Impermeable" is a descriptive term for earth materials which have a texture or structure that does not permit fluids to perceptibly move into or through its pores or interstices.

(30) "Liner" means any device inserted into a larger casing, screen, or bore hole as a means of maintaining the structural integrity of the well.

(31) "Permeability" is a measure of the ease of which liquids or gas move through a porous material.

(a) For water, this is usually expressed in units of centimeters per second or feet per day. Hydraulic conductivity is a term for water permeability.

(b) Soils and synthetic liners with a water permeability of 1 x 10[-7] cm/sec or less may be considered impermeable.

(32) "Pollution" has the meaning provided in RCW 90.48.020.

(33) "Pressure grouting" is a method of forcing grout into specific portions of a well for sealing purposes.

(34) "PTFE" means polytetrafluoroethylene casing materials such as teflon. The use of the term teflon is not an endorsement for any specific PTFE product.

(35) "Public water supply" is any water supply intended or used for human consumption or other domestic uses, including source, treatment, storage, transmission and distribution facilities where water is furnished to any community, collection or number of individuals, available to the public for human consumption or domestic use, excluding water supplies serving one single-family residence and a system with four or fewer connections, all of which serve residences on the same farm.

(36) "PVC" means polyvinyl chloride, a type of thermoplastic casing.

(37) "Static water level" is the vertical distance from the surface of the ground to the water level in a well when the water level is not affected by withdrawal of ground water.

(38) "Temporary surface casing" is a length of casing (at least four inches larger in diameter than the nominal size of the permanent casing) which is temporarily installed during well construction to maintain the annular space.

(39) "Test well" is a well (either cased or uncased), constructed to determine the quantity of water available for beneficial uses, identifying underlying rock formations (lithology), and to locate optimum zones to be screened or perforated. If a test well is constructed with the intent to withdraw water for beneficial use, it must be constructed in accordance with the minimum standards for water supply wells, otherwise they shall be constructed in accordance with the minimum standards for resource protection wells. A water right permit, preliminary permit, or temporary permit shall be obtained prior to constructing a test well unless the anticipated use of water is exempt as provided in RCW 90.44.050. A "test well" is a type of "water well."

(40) "Tremie tube" is a small diameter pipe used to place grout, filter pack material, or other well construction materials in a well.

(41) "Turbidity" means the clarity of water expressed as nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) and measured with a calibrated turbidimeter.

(42) "Unconsolidated formation" means any naturally occurring, loosely cemented, or poorly consolidated earth material including such materials as uncompacted gravel, sand, silt and clay.

Alluvium, soil, and overburden are terms frequently used to describe such formations.

(43) "Water well" means any excavation that is constructed when the intended use of the well is for the location, diversion, artificial recharge, observation, monitoring, dewatering or withdrawal of ground water for agricultural, municipal, industrial, domestic, or commercial use.

(44) "Water well contractor" means any person, firm, partnership, copartnership, corporation, association, or other entity, licensed and bonded under chapter 18.27 RCW, engaged in the business of constructing water wells.

(45) "Well alteration(s)" include(s): Deepening, hydrofracturing or other operations intended to increase well yields, or change the characteristics of the well. Well alteration does not include general maintenance, cleaning, sanitation, and pump replacement.

(46) "Well completion" means that construction has progressed to a point at which the drilling equipment has been removed from the site, or a point at which the well can be put to its intended use.

(47) "Well driller(s)" or "driller(s)" is synonymous with "operator(s)."

(48) "Well" means water wells, resources protection wells, instrumentation wells, dewatering wells, and geotechnical soil borings. Well does not mean an excavation made for the purpose of obtaining or prospecting for oil or natural gas, geothermal resources, minerals, or products of mining, or quarrying, or for inserting media to repressure oil or natural gas bearing formations, or for storing petroleum, natural gas, or other products.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-121  What should I know about drilling wells that require water right permits? (1) Unless a ground water withdrawal is exempt from the permit requirements under RCW 90.44.050, a well cannot be drilled without the well owner first obtaining a water permit from the department authorizing the use of water from the well.

(2) The licensed operator must have a copy of the water right permit or certificate on site at all times.

(3) Every well that requires a permit shall be constructed to meet the provisions of that permit. Provisions may include:

(a) Limitations on zones of completion.

(b) Special sealing requirements.

(c) Special casing and liner requirements.

(d) Other specific construction and testing details.

(4) As provided in WAC 173-548-050, no water well may be constructed for any purpose in subbasins closed in the Methow water resources regulation:

(a) Including those exempted from permitting under RCW 90.44.050;

(b) Unless written approval has been obtained from the department prior to beginning well construction.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-131  What should the well owner know about water metering? The department may require water users to measure the quantity of water withdrawn from wells, to record water use, and/or to report the water use information to the department. Until the department develops specific metering and reporting requirements, these requirements may be provided for in individual water permits or as otherwise ordered by the department for specific wells and ground water use.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-141  What are the requirements regarding water well reports? (1) Anyone who constructs a well is required to submit a complete report on the construction, alteration, or decommissioning of the well to the department within thirty days after completion of a well, or after the drilling equipment has left the site.

(a) This applies to all water wells.

(b) The water well report must be made on a form provided by the department, or a reasonable facsimile of the form, as approved by the department.

(2) Where applicable the water well report must include, at least, the following information:

(a) Owner name; operator/trainee name; operator/trainee license number; contractor registration number, drilling company name;

(b) Tax parcel number;

(c) Well location address;

(d) Location of the well to at least 1/4, 1/4 section or smallest legal subdivision;

(e) Unique well identification tag number;

(f) Construction date;

(g) Start notification number;

(h) Intended use of well;

(i) The well depth, diameter, and general specifications of each well;

(j) Total depth of casing;

(k) Well head elevation;

(l) Drilling method;

(m) Seal material, seal location and type of placement used;

(n) Filter pack location; filter pack material used;

(o) The thickness and character of each bed, stratum or formation penetrated by each well, including identification of each water bearing zone;

(p) Casing gauge, diameter, stickup, type of material, and length, also of each screened interval or perforated zone in the casing;

(q) The tested capacity of each well in gallons per minute, and the test duration and draw down of the water level at the end of the capacity test;

(r) Recovery data;

(s) For each nonflowing well, the depth to the static water level, as measured below the land surface;

(t) For each flowing well, the shut-in pressure measured above the land surface, or in pounds per square inch at the land surface; and

(u) Such additional factual information as may be required by the department.

(3) The well report must show the license number and signature of the person who constructed the well. If this is an unlicensed person, exempted under RCW 18.104.180(2), the report shall show the license number and signature of the licensed operator who witnessed the drilling. Water well reports for wells constructed by trainees shall have the signature and license number of the trainee and the licensed operator.

(4) If a well report is missing, a new report may be generated. This report shall contain all physical components of the well and report all available information in accordance with this section. The report shall be signed by the individual collecting the physical information of the well.



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WAC 173-160-151  Does the department require prior notice and fees for well constructing, reconstructing, or decommissioning a water well? (1) Yes. The property owner, owner's agent, or water well operator shall notify the department of their intent to begin well construction, reconstruction-alteration, or decommissioning procedures at least seventy-two hours before starting work.

(2) The notice of intent is submitted on forms provided by the department and must contain the following:

(a) Well owner name;

(b) Well location; street address; county name, 1/4, 1/4 section, township, and range, and tax parcel number;

(c) Proposed use; (if the intended withdrawal requires a water right, the permit or certificate shall be attached to the notice of intent);

(d) Approximate start and completion dates;

(e) Contractor registration number;

(f) Operator/trainee name and license number; and

(g) Drilling company name.

(3) In an emergency, a public health emergency, or in exceptional instances, the department may allow verbal notification to the appropriate regional office, with a start card written notification follow-up and payment of fee submitted within twenty-four hours. An emergency situation may consist of a failing well, or water quality issues which could result in a public health or safety concern.

(4) The notice must be accompanied by the following fees which apply to all newly constructed or altered wells:

(a) The fee for one new water well, other than a dewatering well, with a top casing diameter of less than twelve inches is one hundred dollars.

(b) The fee for one new water well, other than a dewatering well, with a top casing diameter of twelve inches or greater is two hundred dollars.

(c) The combined fee for construction and decommissioning of a dewatering well system shall be forty dollars for each two hundred horizontal lineal feet, or portion of horizontal lineal feet, of the dewatering well system.

(d) There is no fee for decommissioning a water well.

(5) If drilling results in an unusable well (dry hole), there is no additional fee for a second attempt, provided:

(a) A subsequent attempt at constructing a new well is made immediately; and

(b) The unusable well(s) is properly decommissioned before drilling equipment leaves the well site; and

(c) The department is notified of all decommissionings; and

(d) A well report describing the decommissioning process is submitted to the department in accordance with this chapter.

(6) A new notice of intent and fee shall be required on all follow-up construction after the drilling equipment has left the drill site.

(7) A refund shall be made on any well that has not been constructed provided, a written request is made by the person who paid the fee and is submitted to the department within twelve months from the date the notice and fee were received by the department. A copy of the notice of intent receipt must accompany the request.



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WAC 173-160-161  How shall each water well be planned and constructed? Every well must be planned and constructed so that it is:

(1) Adapted to those geologic and ground water conditions known to exist at the well site to insure utilization of any natural protection available;

(2) Not a conduit for contaminating the ground water nor a means of wasting water;

(3) Capable of yielding, where obtainable, the quantity of water necessary to satisfy the requirements the user has stated are needed and for which the well water is intended to be used.



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WAC 173-160-171  What are the requirements for the location of the well site and access to the well? (1) The proposed water well shall be located on high ground that is not in the floodway.

(2) It shall be protected from a one hundred year flood and from any surface or subsurface drainage capable of impairing the quality of the ground water supply.

(3) All wells shall not be located within certain minimum distances of known or potential sources of contamination.

(a) Some examples of sources or potential sources of contamination include:

(i) Septic systems, including proposed and reserve sites under a valid septic design: Provided, That the design has been approved for installation by a health authority;

(ii) Manure, sewage, and industrial lagoons;

(iii) Landfills;

(iv) Hazardous waste sites;

(v) Sea-salt water intrusion areas;

(vi) Chemical and petroleum storage areas;

(vii) Pipelines used to convey materials with contamination potential;

(viii) Livestock barns and livestock feed lots.

(b) Minimum set-back distances for water wells other than for public water supply are:

(i) Five feet from any building projection. Water wells shall not be located in garages or inhabited dwellings.

(ii) Fifty feet from a septic tank, septic holding tank, septic containment vessel, septic pump chamber, and septic distribution box.

(iii) Fifty feet from building sewers, collection and nonperforated distribution lines.

(iv) One hundred feet from the edge of a drainfield, proposed drainfield which has been approved by a health authority, and reserve drainfield areas.

(v) One hundred feet from all other sources or potential sources of contamination except for solid waste landfills.

(vi) One thousand feet from the property boundary of a solid waste landfill.

(c) All public water supply wells shall be located by the department of health or the local health authority.

(i) Before construction begins, site approval must be obtained from the department of health, or the local health authority.

(ii) The requirements of the state board of health regulation regarding public water supplies shall apply.

(iii) This regulation includes requirements for zones of protection, location of the well, accessibility features, and certain construction requirements.

(4) In siting a well, the driller shall consider:

(a) All local and state water well construction regulations, policies, and ordinances;

(b) Permeability of the soil or rock;

(c) Adjacent land uses;

(d) Local ground water conditions; and

(e) End use of the well.

(5) When a well is located in an area of known or potential contamination, the water well casing and seal shall be impervious to the contaminants.

(6) Before construction, the water well operator should strongly emphasize to the well owner, the importance of retaining good accessibility to the well to permit future inspection, maintenance, supplementary construction, and decommissioning.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-181  What are the requirements for preserving the natural barriers to ground water movement between aquifers? (1) In constructing a water well, care shall be taken to preserve the natural barriers to ground water movement between aquifers.

(2) Care shall be taken to seal aquifers or strata penetrated during drilling operations which might impair water quality or result in cascading water.

(3) Water wells may not interconnect aquifers.

(4) All sealing must be permanent and prevent movement of surface, or ground water into the annular space between the permanent casing and the bore hole.

(5) Sealing shall prevent the upward movement of artesian waters within the annular space around the well casing and prevent the contamination or wasting of ground water.

(6) Sealing shall prevent the movement of ground water either upward or downward from zones that were cased off.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-191  What are the design and construction requirements for completing wells? (1) You may complete wells with screens, perforated liners or pipe, or open bottom completion. The well driller or designer shall advise the owner or the owner's representative of the most appropriate method of completion.

(2) All well components must be of sufficient strength to withstand the normal forces to which they are subjected during and after construction.

(3) Water wells must be completed in a manner which prevents the production of untreatable amounts of sand, silt, or turbid water which would render the well unusable.

(4) Open bottom completion is appropriate where the withdrawn waters are essentially free of sand, silt and turbidity.

(5) Perforated pipe completion is suitable for a coarse-grained, permeable aquifer where the withdrawn waters are free of sand, silt or turbidity.

(6) Perforations above the static water level are not permitted.

(7) In place perforations with Star, Mills knife, or similar type perforators are acceptable.

(8) Perforated pipe liners, either saw cut, torch cut, mill slotted, or punched are acceptable.

(9) The use of perforated casing for working casing as the hole is being drilled is prohibited, except in those cases where the contractor can, through personal experience in the particular area of drilling, attest to the sufficiency of the pre-perforated casing in all respects for the specific well being constructed.

(10) Pipe liners may be of steel, plastic or other suitable corrosion resistant material.

(11) All liners must be of sufficient strength to withstand normal forces exerted upon the liner material during installation and operation.

(12) Liners may be used in a natural development or gravel packed type construction.

(13) The installation of a liner without a gravel pack is prohibited when conditions exist that will result in excessively turbid water.

(14) Well screens and well points must be constructed of compatible corrosion resistant material.

(a) A neoprene, or grout seal shall be fitted to the top of the well screen assembly, if necessary.

(b) The bottom of the well screen shall be plugged or capped.

(c) The use of lead packers is prohibited.

(15) The alignment of the permanent casing or liner shall be sufficiently plumb and straight to allow the installation of screens, liners, pumps, and pump columns without binding or having adverse affects on the operation of the installed pumping equipment.

(a) Alignment of the well casing or bore hole shall not deviate from an alignment that would allow a twenty foot test section of pipe to be inserted to the bottom of the well without binding.

(b) The diameter of the test section of pipe shall be per Table 1 in WAC 173-160-201.

(c) For testing alignment in casing reductions, each section shall be tested separately.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-201  What are the casing and liner requirements? (1) Proper casing must be installed in all water supply wells.

(2) The casing shall withstand normal forces which act upon it during and after installation. It shall be resistant to the corrosive effects of the surrounding formations, earth, and water.

(3) All plastic casing for use in potable water supply wells must be manufactured to conform to National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 14-84, or the most recent revision.

(4) Unless prior approval is obtained from the department, materials for well casings must be either steel casing as shown in Table 1 or plastic casing as shown in Table 2.

(5) Minimum specifications for steel casing and pipe for water wells are shown in Table 1.

(6) Steel casing larger than twenty inches shall have a minimum wall thickness of 0.375 inches.





TABLE 1

Minimum Specifications for Steel Casing and Pipe



NOMINAL

SIZE

(inches)

OUTSIDE

DIAMETER

(inches)

WALL

THICKNESS (inches)

WEIGHT

PER FOOT (pounds)

TEST

SECTION

OUTSIDE

DIAMETER

(inches)

1.25 1.660 0.140 2.27 0.500
1.5 1.900 0.145 2.72 0.750
2.0 2.375 0.154 3.65 1.000
2.5 2.875 0.203 5.79 1.500
3.0 3.500 0.216 7.58 2.000
3.5 4.000 0.226 9.11 2.500
4.0 4.500 0.237 10.79 3.000
5.0 5.563 0.258 14.62 3.500
6.0 6.625 0.280 18.97 4.000
8.0 8.625 0.322 28.55 6.000
10 10.750 0.365 40.48 8.000
12 12.750 0.375 49.56 10.000
14 14.000 0.375 54.57 11.000
16 16.000 0.375 62.58 14.000
18 18.000 0.375 70.59 16.000
20 20.000 0.375 78.60 18.000
24 24.000 0.375 94.62 20.000
30 30.000 0.375 118.65 24.000



STEEL CASING



(7) All steel casing materials must be new or, in like new condition, and be structurally sound.

(a) Casing that has been exposed to a contaminant shall not be used in well construction unless the contamination can be entirely removed.

(b) When casing lengths are joined together, they must be connected by watertight weld or screw coupled joints.

(i) Welded joints must be at least as thick as the wall thickness of the well casing and be fully penetrating.

(ii) All steel well casing shall meet or exceed the minimum American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) A-53 A or B specification for steel pipe.



PLASTIC CASING



(8) Plastic, fiberglass, PVC, SR, ABS, or other type of nonmetallic well casing must be manufactured and installed to conform with ANSI/ASTM F 480-81, Standard Dimension Ratio (SDR) 21 or the most recent revision.

(a) SDR is calculated by dividing the outside diameter of the pipe by the wall thickness.

(b) SDR 21 is the minimum requirement; higher pressure rated pipe may be used.

(c) All plastic casing must be installed only in an oversized drill hole without driving. The oversized hole must be a diameter of at least 4 inches larger than the outside diameter of the plastic casing or coupling hubs, whichever is larger.

(d) All plastic casing must be new or, in like new condition and clearly marked by the manufacturer showing nominal size, type of plastic material, SDR, ASTM designation, and have a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) seal of approval for use in potable water supplies.

(e) Casing that has been exposed to a contaminant shall not be used in well construction unless the construction can be entirely removed.

(f) Plastic casing joints must be watertight.

(i) Either "bell" type, threaded joints, or coupling hubs are approved.

(ii) Hub couplings must be of materials meeting the specifications for plastic casings as stipulated in subsection (2) of this section.

(iii) If joints are secured with solvent cement, it must be done in accordance with manufacturer's directions.

(g) Table 2 is the manufacturer's recommendations for specifications of plastic casing.



TABLE 2

Minimum Specifications for Plastic Casing



NOMINAL CASING DIAMETER

(inches)

MINIMUM THICKNESS

(inches)



SDR
2.0 0.13321 21
2.5 0.13721 21
3.0 0.16721 21
3.5 0.19021 21
4.0 0.21421 21
4.5 0.23621 21
5.0 0.26521 21
6.0 0.31621 21
8.0 0.41021 21
10 0.51121 21
12 0.60621 21


LINER PIPE



(9) Liner pipe must consist of steel, in new or like new condition, free of pits or breaks; or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), CPVC, type 1120, with SDR 21 (Class 200) or greater wall thickness. All PVC must be clearly marked to identify the type, class, and SDR.

(a) Liner pipe must be of sufficient strength to withstand breakage or collapse when the well is pumped and meet ASTM potable water standards.

(b) When installed, liner pipe shall extend or telescope at least two feet into the lower end of the well casing. If more than one string of liner pipe is installed, each string shall extend or telescope at least eight feet into the adjacent larger diameter liner pipe.

(c) Liner pipe may not be permanently fixed to a well casing below land surface.



CONCRETE CURBING



(10) The concrete used to make curbing must consist of clean, hard and durable aggregate with not less than five sacks (ninety-four pounds per sack) of portland cement per cubic yard of concrete.

(a) The maximum diameter of aggregate particles may not exceed 1 1/2 inches, but in any case may not exceed 1/5 the minimum width of the casing thickness.

(b) The ratio of coarse aggregate to fine aggregate (passing No. 4 U.S. Standard Sieve) must be approximately 1 1/2 to 1 by volume, but in any case, may not exceed 2 to 1 nor be less than 1 to 2.

(11) The curbing shall be at least six inches thick and free of voids. The walls shall be poured in one continuous operation.

(12) When concrete tile is used to line a well, the combined total wall thickness and seal shall be a minimum of six inches.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-211  What are the recommended well diameters?



TABLE 3

Recommended Well Diameters



Anticipated

Well Yield

in gpm

Nominal Size

of Pump Bowls

in inches

Optimum Size

of Well Casing

in inches

Less than 100 4 6 ID
75 to 175 5 8 ID
150 to 350 6 10 ID
300 to 700 8 12 ID
500 to 1000 10 14 OD
800 to 1800 12 16 OD
1200 to 3000 14 20 OD
2000 to 3800 16 24 OD
3000 to 6000 20 30 OD





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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-221  What are the standards for sealing materials? (1) Bentonite sealant:

(a) Bentonite used to prepare slurries for sealing, or decommissioning shall be specifically designed for this purpose. At no time shall grout slurry contain materials that are toxic, polluting, develop odor or color changes, or serve as a micro-bacterial nutrient. All bentonite slurries shall be prepared and installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. All additives must be certified by a recognized certification authority such as NSF. Active solids content (bentonite) shall be twenty percent by weight or greater in all bentonite slurries. The active solids shall be checked by using the following formula:



Weight of bentonite (lbs.) X 100 = % solids

Weight of bentonite (lbs.) + (gallons of water x 8.33 lbs./gal)

Example: 105 lbs. of bentonite X 100 = 20% solids

105 lbs. bentonite + (50 gallons of water x 8.33 lbs./gal)



(b) Unhydrated bentonite--pelletized, granulated, powder, or chip bentonite may be used in the construction of seals or in decommissioning of wells. The bentonite material shall be specifically designed for sealing or decommissioning and be within the industry tolerances for dry western sodium bentonite. Polymer additives must be designed and manufactured to meet industry standards to be nondegrading and must not act as a medium which will promote growth of micro-organisms. All unhydrated bentonite used for sealing or decommissioning must be free of organic polymers. Placement of bentonite shall conform to the manufacturer's specifications and result in a seal free of voids or bridges.

(2) Cement sealants:

(a) Neat cement consists of either portland cement types I, II, III, or high-alumina cement mixed with not more than six gallons of potable water per sack of cement (ninety-four pounds per sack).

(b) Neat cement grout consists of neat cement with up to five percent bentonite clay added, by dry weight of the bentonite. Bentonite is added to improve flow qualities and compensate for shrinkage.

(c) Concrete sealants consist of clean, hard and durable aggregate with not less than five sacks (ninety-four pounds per sack) of portland cement per cubic yard of concrete sealant.

(i) The maximum diameter of aggregate particles may not exceed 1 1/2 inches, but in any case may not exceed 1/5 the minimum width of the casing thickness.

(ii) The ratio of coarse aggregate to fine aggregate (passing No. 4 U.S. Standard Sieve) must be approximately 1 1/2 to 1 by volume, but in any case, may not exceed 2 to 1 nor be less than 1 to 2.

(d) Expanding agents, such as aluminum powder, may be used at a rate not exceeding 0.075 ounce (1 level teaspoon) per sack (ninety-four pounds per sack) of dry cement. The powder may not contain polishing agents. High-alumina cement and portland cement of any type must not be mixed together.

(3) Sealing methods:

(a) When neat cement or neat cement grout is used in sealing, it shall be placed seventy-two hours before additional drilling takes place, unless special additives are mixed with the neat cement or neat cement grout that cause it to set in a shorter period of time.

(b) All hydrated sealing materials shall be placed by tremmying the mixture from the bottom of the annular space to the surface in one continuous operation.

(4) This section may not preclude the use of new sealant materials which have been approved by the technical advisory group.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-231  What are the standards for surface seals? (1) All water wells constructed shall have a surface seal which seals the annular space between the bore hole and the permanent surface casing.

(a) The seal shall be constructed to prevent surface contaminants from reaching the ground water.

(b) The surface seal must have a minimum diameter of four inches larger than the nominal size of the surface casing, to include the outside diameter of the bell, in bell and hub couplings.

(c) The surface seal must extend from land surface to a minimum depth of eighteen feet. Except, when the minimum surface seal requirements for driven, jetted, and some dug wells are less than eighteen feet. See the appropriate section for these wells for a detailed description of their sealing requirements.

(2) Sealing material must be placed in an open annular space that is a minimum of four inches greater in diameter than the nominal size of the permanent casing.

(3) The completed surface seal must fully surround the permanent casing, must be evenly distributed, free of voids, and extend to undisturbed or recompacted soil.

(4) After the permanent casing has been set in final position, the annular space shall be filled to land surface with bentonite or cement grout or neat cement. Leaving voids for future installation of equipment such as a pitless adapter is prohibited.

(5) A temporary casing with a minimum length of eighteen feet and a minimum nominal diameter of four inches greater than the permanent casing shall be used in all unconsolidated formations such as in gravels, sands, or other unstable conditions when the use of drilling fluid or other means of keeping the bore hole open are not employed.

(6) Whenever reconstruction involves permanent surface casing movement; or the existing surface seal is damaged; or a surface seal never existed; the driller shall repair, replace, or install a minimum of eighteen feet of surface seal around the permanent casing.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-241  What are the requirements for formation sealing? (1) Unconsolidated formation sealing - Without significant clay beds or other confining formations - Drilled wells that penetrate an aquifer overlain by unconsolidated formations such as sand and gravel without significant clay beds (at least six feet thick) or other confining formations shall be sealed in accordance with the surface sealing requirements of WAC 173-160-231. See Figure 1.

(2) Unconsolidated formation sealing - With significant clay beds or other significant confining formations - Drilled wells that penetrate an aquifer overlain by clay or other confining formations that are at least six feet thick, shall be sealed to prevent movement of water or contamination in the annular space between the permanent casing and the clay or other confining formation(s). One of the following methods shall be used to seal the annular space:

(a) A drill hole at least four inches greater in diameter than the nominal size of the permanent well casing shall extend from the land surface into the clay bed or other confining formation located directly above the aquifer to be developed. The annular space shall be filled with bentonite (slurry or unhydrated), cement grout, or neat cement to form a watertight seal between the casing and all significant confining formations encountered during drilling. If bentonite slurry, cement grout, or neat cement is used to seal the annular space it must be placed by either pumping or tremmying the seal material from the lowest clay bed or other confining formation of significance encountered, to land surface. The drill hole shall be kept open through the use of a temporary casing or any other drilling method that stabilizes the bore hole wall. See Figure 1.

(b) An upper drill hole at least four inches greater in diameter than the nominal size of the permanent well casing shall extend to a minimum of eighteen feet from land surface. A temporary casing or other means of maintaining an open bore hole shall be utilized. All temporary casing will have an outside diameter of a minimum of four inches larger than the permanent casing (for example, a ten-inch temporary casing for a six-inch permanent casing). The upper drill hole shall always contain a minimum of nine feet of sealant throughout the advancement of the permanent casing. Except, if the temporary casing is removed or not utilized, the upper drill hole shall be kept full of sealant. See Figure 1.

(3) Consolidated formations - In drilled wells that penetrate an aquifer, either within or overlain by a consolidated formation, sealing of the casing shall conform with one of the following procedures.

(a) Procedure one - An upper drill hole at least four inches greater in diameter than the nominal size of the permanent well casing shall extend from land surface into a sound, unfractured, consolidated formation. Unperforated permanent casing shall be installed to extend to this same depth, and the lower part of the casing shall be driven and sealed into the consolidated formation to establish a watertight seal between the formation and the casing. The remainder of the annular space to land surface shall be filled with cement grout, neat cement, or bentonite.

(i) If the consolidated formation is encountered at a depth less than eighteen feet from land surface, the upper drill hole and permanent casing shall extend to a minimum of eighteen feet from land surface. See Figure 2.

(ii) If cement grout, neat cement, or bentonite slurry is placed by pumping to seal the entire annulus from the bottom up to land surface, the upper drill hole may be a minimum of two inches larger than the outside diameter of the permanent casing.

(b) Procedure two - An upper drill hole at least four inches greater in diameter than the nominal size of the permanent casing extends from land surface to a depth of at least eighteen feet. An unperforated permanent casing shall be driven into the consolidated formation and sealed in a manner that establishes a watertight seal between the formation and the casing. Throughout the driving of the well casing to the consolidated formation, the annular space between the upper drill hole and the permanent casing shall be kept at least one-half full with unhydrated bentonite, or bentonite slurry. The remainder of the annular space to land surface shall be filled with cement grout, neat cement, or bentonite. See Figure 2.

(c) If temporary surface casing is used in either procedure (a) or (b) of this subsection, the casing must be a minimum of eighteen feet long and at least four inches larger in diameter than the permanent casing. If a consolidated formation is encountered within the first eighteen feet, the temporary casing may terminate at the interface of the consolidated formation. Withdrawal of the temporary casing must take place simultaneously with proper sealing of the annular space to land surface.



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WAC 173-160-251  What are the special sealing standards for artesian wells? (1) When flowing artesian conditions are known or suspected, the operator shall have a written sealing plan prepared prior to initiation of construction. The plan shall identify the type of sealing material that will be used and the method for sealing. The plan shall also contain at least one alternative construction method for sealing and an emergency contingency section which will identify steps to be taken if the ground water flow cannot be controlled.

(2) When artesian water is encountered in the well, an unperforated well casing shall extend into the confining stratum overlying the artesian zone. The casing shall be sealed into the confining stratum to prevent surface and subsurface leakage from the artesian zone. If the well flows at land surface, it must be equipped with a control valve so that flow can be completely stopped.

(3) The well shall be completed with seals, packers or grout that eliminates leakage around the well casing. The driller shall not move the drilling rig from the well site until leakage is completely stopped, unless authority for temporary removal is granted by the department, or when loss of life or property is imminent.



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WAC 173-160-261  How do I seal dug wells? The surface seal of all dug wells shall be constructed to effectively seal the annular space between the undisturbed native material of the upper well hole and the well curbing, which may consist of (concrete tile, steel pipe or liner). The seal depth shall be at least eighteen feet from land to surface or to within three feet of the bottom in dug wells that are less than twenty-one feet in depth. Dug wells may be sealed with cement, neat cement, bentonite, or cement grout. A cap shall be placed on all dug wells. Except during maintenance, the cap shall remain in place. The cap shall prevent entry of pollutants, insects, and mammals into the well. See Figure 3.



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WAC 173-160-271  What are the special sealing standards for driven wells, jetted wells, and dewatering wells? (1) Driven wells - An upper hole at least four inches greater in diameter than the permanent casing shall extend a minimum of six feet below land surface. The annular space between the upper oversized drill hole and the permanent casing must be kept at least one-half full with bentonite or bentonite slurry throughout all driving of the pipe. The remaining annular space to land surface shall be filled with cement grout, neat cement, or bentonite. See Figure 4.

(2) Jetted wells - The surface seal in jetted wells shall be constructed to seal the annular space between the permanent casing and undisturbed native soil. An upper hole at least four inches greater in diameter than the permanent casing shall extend a minimum of six feet below land surface.

(3) Dewatering wells:

(a) Permanent dewatering wells shall be sealed to a depth of eighteen feet or within three feet of the bottom of the well for wells less than twenty-one feet deep. The minimum annular space requirements, sealing material, and decommissioning procedures of this chapter apply to all permanent dewatering wells.

(b) Temporary dewatering wells - Dewatering wells that are in place less than eighteen months and are less than eighteen feet deep are exempt from the sealing requirements of this chapter. Temporary wells that are installed over eighteen months and that are deeper than eighteen feet, must have a minimum of eighteen feet of surface seal and meet the minimum annular space requirements and sealing materials authorized under this chapter.



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WAC 173-160-281  What are the construction standards for artificial gravel-packed wells? In gravel-packed wells, the gravel mixture shall be placed around the screen so that bridging or size separation does not occur. The gravel pack must be clean, and chemically stable. All gravel and water used must be disinfected with at least fifty parts per million (ppm) chlorine for a contact time of at least thirty minutes. Rinse water containing chlorine is a pollutant. Chlorine in the rinse water must be allowed to dissipate and the water must be discharged in a safe manner consistent with the intent of the Water Pollution Control Act, chapter 90.48 RCW. See Figure 5.



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WAC 173-160-291  What are the standards for the upper terminal of water wells? (1) The watertight casing or curbing of any well shall extend at least six inches above the ground surface. Pit completion is prohibited.

(2) Where the site is subject to flooding, the top of the casing must be at least two feet above the estimated water level of a one hundred-year frequency flood.

(3) All wells shall be equipped with an access port that allows for the measurement of the depth to water surface, or with a pressure gage that indicates the shut-in pressure of a flowing artesian well. See Figure 6. The access ports and pressure gages or other openings in the cover are sealed or capped to prevent entrance of surface water or foreign material into the well.

(4) Any vent opening, observation ports or air-line equipment shall extend from the upper end of the well by watertight piping to a point at least six inches above land surface. The terminals of these facilities shall be shielded or sealed to prevent entrance of foreign matter or pollutants.

(5) A pitless adapter, or similar device is permitted on water wells if it is made with fittings approved by the department of health. The connection must be above static water level.

(6) Any person who removes any part of a surface seal to install a pitless adaptor shall repair the seal so that it is brought up to land surface.



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WAC 173-160-301  What are the requirements for temporary capping? (1) All wells which are not in use, or are temporarily out of service, must be securely capped so that no contamination can enter the well.

(2) Capping must be affixed by solid welds or equal seal to prevent unauthorized access to the well.

(3) Temporary capping alone will not satisfy the decommissioning requirements of this chapter.



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WAC 173-160-311  What are the well tagging requirements? (1) It shall be the operator's responsibility to place a well identification tag with a unique identification number on every well that they construct, alter, or reconstruct.

(a) The alpha-numeric number shall be recorded on the drilling report in the space provided.

(b) The operator shall remove the well identification tag on all wells they decommission and shall attach the tag to the decommissioning well report.

(2) It shall be the well owner's responsibility to place a well identification tag with a unique identification number on every well they own.

(a) Upon request, the department shall furnish the well owner with a well tag and tagging instructions.

(b) The well owner shall tag their well(s) and submit a completed tagging report to the department.

(3) The well tag shall be permanently attached to the outer well casing or other prominent well feature and be visible above land surface.

(4) All well identification tags shall be supplied by the department.

(5) It is unlawful for a person to tamper with or remove a well identification tag except during well alteration.



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WAC 173-160-321  How do I test a well? (1) Well authorized by appropriation permit - Before being put to use, each well shall be test pumped for yield and draw down. Reports of the test pumping shall be submitted as required in chapter 90.44 RCW. The driller shall be familiar with and meet all testing procedures outlined in the water right permit. The well shall be test pumped at rates equal to, or greater than, are expected from the well during its normal usage. The test pump for public water supply wells shall be operated continuously for a minimum of four hours, or longer if required by the department of health. The yield and draw down shall be determined following at least four hours of stabilized water level observation. Periodic water level observation should be made during draw down and subsequent recovery periods. Periods of observation shall be more frequent during the onset of the draw down and may decrease in frequency as the draw down or recovery proceeds toward stabilization. A bailer test is not an acceptable substitute for testing wells under permit or for public water supply wells.

(2) Wells not requiring appropriation permit - Testing of a well that does not require an appropriation permit shall be conducted for a period of at least one hour. The last twenty minutes of the test shall be conducted at a constant rate of withdrawal to achieve a stabilized pumping level. Test pumping under this section can be either by bailer, air lift, or with a pump.

(3) Test data shall be reported to the department on the water well report.



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WAC 173-160-331  How do I make sure my equipment and the water well are free of contaminants? (1) All tools, drilling equipment and materials shall be free of contaminants prior to beginning well construction. Contaminants include lubricants, fuel, bacteria that will reduce the well efficiency, and any other item(s) that will be harmful to public health and/or the resource or reduce the life of the water well.

(2) Every new or reconditioned water well, after completion of construction or repair, and before being placed in service, shall be cleared of all foreign materials, and free of contamination.

(3) The well casing shall be swabbed and cleaned to remove oil, grease or joint dope.

(4) All pumping equipment, sand or gravel used in gravel-packed water wells and the well casing shall be thoroughly sluiced with clean water and disinfected. The disinfecting agent shall be safe and not impair the potability of the ground water. All disinfectants shall be used in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.

(5) Before the well is put to use, the standing water in the well shall be disinfected and flushed to remove all traces of disinfectant. A water sample may then be taken and tested for coliform bacteria or other items required by the state department of health or local health authority. Examples of other test items may include: Nitrates, dissolved solids, sodium, iron, pH, manganese, conductivity, hardness, and turbidity. If testing indicates a presence of coliform bacteria, more stringent disinfecting methods may be required by the department of health or local health authority.

If chlorine is used to disinfect the well water, sufficient chlorine will be added to the standing water to give a residual of fifty ppm free chlorine. The chlorine shall remain in the well for a period of at least twenty-four hours. After twenty-four hours, a minimum of one ppm free chlorine residual shall remain in the water before the well is flushed free of chlorine and a sample taken. Other disinfectants placed in the ground water shall be used in quantities that are safe, nonpolluting, and that are not a detriment to the potability of the ground water. All disinfectants used in ground water shall be used in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.

(6) Chlorine and other disinfectants can pollute. Allow the chlorine or other disinfectants in the rinse water to dissipate before discharging the water to surface water. This water shall be discharged in a safe manner consistent with the intent of the Water Pollution Control Act, chapter 90.48 RCW.



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WAC 173-160-341  How do I ensure the quality of drilling water? All water introduced into a well for drilling purposes and for mixing sealing materials shall be obtained from a potable water source and have a chlorine residual of not more than 1 ppm free chlorine.



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WAC 173-160-351  What are the standards for pump installation? All pumps and pumping equipment and materials must be free of contamination and shall be installed in a manner consistent with the intent and purposes of these regulations.



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WAC 173-160-361  Who may supervise the use of explosives? Explosives used for developing or reconditioning any water well must be used under the direct supervision of an individual licensed under chapter 70.74 RCW.



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WAC 173-160-371  What are the standards for chemical conditioning? The use of detergents, chlorine, acids or other chemicals in wells for the purpose of increasing or restoring yield, shall be used according to manufacturer's recommendations. Except for routine maintenance and cleaning, a well drilling license is required for all chemical conditioning that alters the condition of the water well.



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WAC 173-160-381  What are the standards for decommissioning a well? Any well which is unusable, abandoned, or whose use has been permanently discontinued, or which is in such disrepair that its continued use is impractical or is an environmental, safety or public health hazard shall be decommissioned. The decommissioning procedure (as prescribed by these regulations) must be recorded and reported as required by the department.

(1) Cased wells. Cased water wells that were not constructed in accordance with these regulations, or wells which are decommissioned to allow the placement of potential sources of contamination within one hundred feet of the well, or for which a drilling report required under WAC 173-160-141 is missing, shall be decommissioned in one of the following ways:

(a) Perforate the casing from the bottom to within five feet of the land surface and pressure grout the casing.

(i) Perforations shall be at least four equidistant cuts per row, and one row per foot. Each cut shall be at least one and one-half inches long.

(ii) Apply enough pressure to force the sealing material through the perforations, filling any voids on the outside of the casing.

(iii) The remainder of the casing shall be filled with cement grout, neat cement, or bentonite slurry.

(b) Withdraw the casing and fill the bore hole with cement grout, neat cement, or bentonite as the casing is being withdrawn.

(2) If it can be verified through a field examination and review of the drilling report that a water supply well was constructed in accordance with these regulations, and it is not being decommissioned to allow the siting of potential sources of contamination within one hundred feet of the well, it shall be decommissioned by the casing removal, or casing perforation methods described in subsection (1)(a) or (b) of this section or by:

(a) Filling the casing from bottom to within five feet of land surface with bentonite, cement grout, or neat cement.

(b) The casing may be cut off at a maximum of five feet below land surface.

(3) Uncased wells - Backfill uncased wells with concrete, cement grout, neat cement, or bentonite.

(4) Dug wells - Remove all debris and obstructions that impede decommissioning or that may contaminate the aquifer from within the dug well. Install clean chlorinated sand or pea gravel to a point two feet above static water level. Fill the remainder of the well with concrete or bentonite to the land surface. Dug wells with static levels below twenty feet from land surface, may be decommissioned by placing chlorinated sand or pea gravel to the static level and then placing alternating layers of sealing material and chlorinated sand or pea gravel to within twenty feet of land surface. The alternating layers of sand or pea gravel must be a maximum of five feet thick. The minimum thickness of the sealing material layers must be five feet. The remainder of the dug well to a maximum of two feet below land surface shall be filled with bentonite, neat cement, cement grout, or concrete. Bentonite slurry shall not be used to decommission dug wells.

(5) Sealing material placed below the static water level shall be piped directly to the point of application or placed by means of a dump bailer or tremie tube. If cement, cement grout, or neat cement is used to seal below the static water level in the well, the material shall be placed from the bottom up by methods that avoid segregation or dilution of the material. When used to place grout, the discharge end of the tremie tube shall be submerged in the grout to avoid breaking the seal while filling the annular space. Sealing material may be hand poured above the static water level, provided the material does not dilute or segregate, and the resulting seal is free of voids.



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WAC 173-160-390  Artificial recharge of ground water bodies. Approval must be obtained from the department before starting any project related to the artificial recharge of ground water bodies.



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PART TWO--GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR RESOURCE PROTECTION WELL CONSTRUCTION AND GEOTECHNICAL SOIL BORINGS



NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-400  What are the minimum standards for resource protection wells and geotechnical soil borings? The following minimum standards shall apply to all resource protection wells and geotechnical soil borings constructed in the state of Washington. It is the responsibility of theresource protection well operator, resource protection well contractor, and the property owner to take whatever measures are necessary to guard against waste and contamination of the ground water resource.

(1) It will be necessary in some cases to construct resource protection wells and geotechnical soil borings with additional requirements beyond the minimum standards.

(2) Nothing in this section limits the department's authority to approve comparable alternative specifications for construction as technology in the industry is developed, or new methods of construction become known to the department.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-406  How do I apply for a variance on a resource protection well? (1) When strict compliance with the requirements and standards of this chapter are impractical, any person may submit a variance request to the department from a regulation or regulations. The application for variance must propose a comparable alternative specification that will provide equal or greater human health and resource protection than the minimum standards. Application for a variance shall be made in writing and approved prior to the construction or decommissioning of the well.

(2) The variance application shall contain at least the following information:

(a) Name, address, and phone number of the person requesting the variance;

(b) Address of well site;

(c) 1/4, 1/4, section, township, range;

(d) The specific regulation(s) that cannot be followed;

(e) The comparable alternative specification;

(f) Justification for the request.

(3) The variance application will be evaluated, and a response will be given within fourteen days. In a public health emergency or other exceptional circumstance, verbal notification for a variance may be given. An emergency usually consists of a drilling situation, which if left unaddressed, could harm the ground water resource. Driller convenience does not constitute an emergency.

(4) The emergency variance recipient must immediately follow up with a written notification to the department so that a permanent record is made of the variance.

(5) Local health districts or counties with delegated authority may grant variances under the provision of chapter 18.104 RCW delegated authority.



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WAC 173-160-410  What are the specific definitions for words in this chapter? This section specifically defines words associated with resource protection wells and geotechnical soil borings. To find the definitions of other words, see WAC 173-160-111.

(1) "Geotechnical information" means subsurface engineering properties used for the purpose of designing structures such as bridges, buildings, highways, pipelines, or for assessing slope stability samples to ascertain structural properties of the subsurface.

(2) "Geotechnical soil boring" or "boring" means an uncased well drilled for the purpose of obtaining soil samples to ascertain structural properties of the subsurface. Geotechnical soil boring includes auger borings, rotary borings, cone penetrometer probes and vane shear probes, or any other uncased ground penetration for geotechnical information.

(3) "Instrumentation well" means a well in which pneumatic or electric geotechnical or hydrological instrumentation is permanently or periodically installed to measure or monitor subsurface strength and movement. Instrumentation well includes bore hole extensometers, slope indicators, pneumatic or electric pore pressure transducers, and load cells.

(4) "Lysimeter" means a well used to withdraw soil water or pore samples from subsurface soil or rock above the water table for chemical, physical, or biological testing.

(5) "Monitoring well" means a well designed to obtain a representative ground water sample or designed to measure the water level elevations in either clean or contaminated water or soil.

(6) "Nested well" means the installation of more than one cased resource protection well in one bore hole. This does not preclude casing reductions.

(7) "Observation well" means a well designed to measure the depth to the water or water level elevation in either clean or contaminated water or soil.

(8) "Piezometer" means a well designed to measure water level elevation at a specific depth beneath the water table.

(9) "Remediation well" means a well used to withdraw ground water or inject water, air (for air sparging), or other solutions into the subsurface for the purpose of remediating, cleaning up, or controlling potential or actual ground water contamination.

(10) "Resource protection well" means a cased boring used to determine the existence or migration of pollutants within an underground formation. Resource protection wells include monitoring wells, observation wells, piezometers, spill response wells, vapor extraction wells, and instrumentation wells.

(11) "Resource protection well contractor" means any person, firm, partnership, copartnership, corporation, association, or other entity, licensed and bonded under chapter 18.27 RCW, engaged in the business of constructing resource protection wells or geotechnical soil borings.

(12) "Spill response well" means a well used to capture or recover any spilled or leaked fluid which has the potential to, or has contaminated the ground water.

(13) "Vapor extraction well" means a well used to withdraw gases or vapors from soil, rock, landfill, or ground water for the purpose of remediating soil and/or ground water contamination.

(14) "Well driller" or "driller" means a resource protection well contractor or operator and a water well contractor or operator.

(15) "Well" means water wells, resources protection wells, instrumentation wells, dewatering wells, and geotechnical soil borings. Well does not mean an excavation made for the purpose of obtaining or prospecting for oil or natural gas, geothermal resources, minerals, or products of mining, or quarrying, or for inserting media to repressure oil or natural gas bearing formations, or for storing petroleum, natural gas, or other products.



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AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 88-58, filed 4/6/88)



WAC 173-160-420  ((Abandonment of uncased wells.)) What are the general construction requirements for resource protection wells? ((Uncased wells shall be backfilled with concrete, grout, puddled clay, or high-solids bentonite.)) (1) No resource protection well or soil boring excavation may be used for domestic, industrial, municipal, commercial, or agricultural purposes.

(2) No resource protection well or soil boring excavation may interconnect aquifers.

(3) Nested resource protection wells are prohibited.

(4) Cuttings, development water, and other investigation derived waste from resource protection well construction or geotechnical soil borings shall be managed in a manner consistent with the intent and purposes of the Water Pollution Control Act, chapter 90.48 RCW, the Hazardous Waste Management Act, chapter 70.105 RCW, and implementing regulations.

(5) Well tagging:

(a) It shall be the driller's responsibility to place a well identification tag with a unique identification number on every resource protection well that they construct or alter. Uncased geotechnical soil borings are exempt from the tagging requirements of this chapter.

(i) The alpha-numeric number shall be recorded on the drilling report in the space provided.

(ii) The driller shall remove the well identification tag on all resource protection wells they decommission and shall attach the tag to the decommissioning well report.

(b) It shall be the well owner's responsibility to place a well identification tag with a unique identification number on every resource protection well they own and which was completed prior to the effective date of this regulation.

(i) Upon request, the department shall furnish the well owner with a well tag and tagging instructions.

(ii) The well owner shall tag their well(s) and submit a completed tagging report to the department.

(c) The well tag shall be permanently attached to the outer well casing and be visible above land surface for all wells which have been completed above land surface. For wells completed below land surface, the well tag shall be attached to the well casing or to any permanent and protected portion of the vault.

(d) All well identification tags shall be supplied by the department.

(e) It is unlawful for a person to tamper with or remove a well identification tag except during well alteration.

(6) All resource protection wells will be sealed in accordance with this chapter regardless of the method of installation. Except, resource protection wells that are properly decommissioned prior to the removal of any drilling equipment from the well location are exempted from the surface sealing requirements of this chapter. Provided the decommissioning process includes the removal of any conduit, tubing, probe, or other items inserted into the ground.

(7) All geotechnical soil borings shall be decommissioned under the terms of this chapter.

(8) Except as provided in RCW 18.104.180, all construction, alteration, reconstruction, and decommissioning of resource protection wells and geotechnical soil borings shall be done by an individual licensed under the provisions of chapter 173-162 WAC.

(9) A notice of intent to construct or decommission a resource protection well and a geotechnical soil boring shall be filed with the department a minimum of seventy-two hours prior to initiating construction or decommissioning of the well(s) or boring(s). A fee must accompany each notice of intent to construct a resource protection well. The fee for constructing, altering, or reconstructing each resource protection well is forty dollars. Geotechnical soil borings are EXEMPT from all fees. Under some circumstances, it may be necessary to construct more resource protection wells or geotechnical soil borings than originally anticipated. When additional resource protection wells are constructed on a site for which a notice of intent and fee were submitted, a second notice and fee shall be submitted within twenty-four hours after all wells have been completed or as soon as the final number of wells to be constructed is determined, whichever is sooner. When additional geotechnical soil borings are needed, the borings may be completed. A follow-up notice of intent shall be submitted to the department within twenty-four hours after all borings are constructed. Notification to construct multiple wells or geotechnical soil borings within the same quarter/quarter section, township, and range may be submitted on one notice form. A fee of forty dollars per well must be attached to each notice. Example: Six resource protection wells identified on one notice of intent would be submitted along with a two hundred forty dollar fee.

(9) Resource protection well and geotechnical soil boring drilling reports.

(a) Every well contractor is required to submit a complete report on the construction, alteration, or decommissioning of all resource protection wells and geotechnical soil borings they construct. Reports must be submitted to the department within thirty days after completion of construction, alteration, or decommissioning.

(b) This applies to all resource protection wells and geotechnical soil borings.

(c) The resource protection well and geotechnical soil boring report must be made on a form provided by the department, or a reasonable facsimile of the form, as approved by the department.

(d) Where applicable the report shall include the following information:

(i) Owner's name; operator/trainee name; operator/trainee license number; contractor registration number, drilling company name;

(ii) Tax parcel number;

(iii) Well location address;

(iv) Location of the well to at least 1/4, 1/4 section or smallest legal subdivision;

(v) Unique well identification tag number;

(vi) Construction date;

(vii) Start notification number;

(viii) Intended use of well;

(ix) The well depth, diameter, and general specifications of each well;

(x) Total depth of casing;

(xi) Well head elevation;

(xii) Drilling method;

(xiii) Seal material, seal location and type of placement used;

(xiv) Filter pack location; filter pack material used;

(xv) The thickness and character of each bed, stratum or formation penetrated by each well including identification of each water bearing zone;

(xvi) Casing gauge, diameter, stickup, type of material, and length, also of each screened interval or perforated zone in the casing;

(xvii) The depth to the static water level, as measured below the land surface; and

(xviii) Such additional factual information as may be required by the department.

(e) The well report must show the license number and signature of the person who constructed the well. If this is an unlicensed person, exempted under RCW 18.104.180(2), the report shall show the license number and signature of the licensed individual who witnessed the drilling. Resource protection well reports for wells constructed by trainees shall have the signature and license number of the trainee and licensed operator.

What are the surface protection requirements?

(10) All resource protection wells shall be capped and protected using one of the following methods:

(a) If the well is cased with metal and completed above the ground surface, you must attach a watertight cap with a lock to the top of the casing.

(b) If the well is not cased with metal and completed above the land surface, you must install a protective metal casing over and around the well. The protective casing shall extend at least six inches above the top of the well casing and be cemented at least two feet into the ground. A cap with lock shall be attached to the top of the protective casing.

(11) You shall protect the well(s) completed above ground from damage by:

(a) Cementing three metal posts, at least three inches in diameter, in a triangular array around the casing and at least two feet from it. Each post shall extend at least three feet above and below the land surface.

(b) A reinforced concrete pad may be installed to protect against and prevent frost heave. If installed, the concrete pad shall extend to a depth equal to anticipated frost depth. When a concrete pad is used, the well seal may be part of the concrete pad.

(12) If the well is completed below land surface, a watertight cap with a lock shall be attached to the top of the well casing. A metal monument or equivalent shall be installed over and around the well. The monument shall serve as a protective cover and be installed level with the land surface and be equipped with a waterproof seal to prevent the inflow of any water or contaminants. Drains will be provided, when feasible, to keep water out of the well and below the well cap. The cover must be designed to withstand the maximum expected loading.

(13) The protective measures may be waived or modified upon written approval from the department (a variance).

(14) If the well is damaged, the well protection measures and casing shall be repaired to meet the requirements of this chapter. If the well is damaged beyond repair, it shall be decommissioned in accordance with WAC 173-160-460.



[Statutory Authority: Chapter 18.104 RCW. 88-08-070 (Order 88-58), 173-160-420, filed 4/6/88.]



NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-430  What are the minimum casing standards? The casing may not effect or interfere with the chemical, physical, radiological, or biological constituents of interest. All resource protection well casing shall conform to ASTM Standards, or at least 304 or 316 stainless steel, PTFE, or Schedule 40 PVC casing.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-440  What are the equipment cleaning standards? (1) When drilling in known or potential areas of contamination, steam clean the drill rig derrick and all drilling equipment on site before and after well construction. If the equipment is used to drill in radioactive areas, you must develop a decontamination plan and the department must approve that plan prior to the equipment being removed from the drill site.

(2) All well construction materials to include casing, screen(s), and filter pack material must be free of contaminants prior to installation.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-450  What are the well sealing requirements? (1) All resource protection wells constructed shall have a continuous seal, which seals the annular space between the bore hole and the permanent casing. The seal shall be constructed to prevent interconnection of separate aquifers penetrated by the well, and shall provide casing stability. The seal shall have a minimum diameter of four inches larger than the nominal size of the permanent casing, and shall extend from land surface to the top of the filter pack. See Figure 7.

(2) After the permanent casing has been set in final position, the filter pack (optional) and sealing material shall be placed in the open bore hole annular space that must be a minimum of four inches greater in diameter than the nominal size of the permanent casing. After installing the filter pack (optional) a layer of bentonite shall be placed on top of the filter pack to maintain separation between the seal material and the screened interval. Insure that placement will not disturb the filter pack. The remaining annular space shall be filled to land surface in a continuous operation with bentonite, neat cement, or cement grout. If a cement/bentonite slurry is used as the sealant, it shall be installed with a tremmie tube and pumped from the top of the bentonite plug (above the filter pack) to land surface. Use only potable water to hydrate the mixture.

(3) The completed annular space shall fully surround the permanent casing, be evenly distributed, free of voids, and extend from the permanent casing to undisturbed or recompacted soil.

(4) All sealing materials used shall conform to one of the following minimum requirements:

(a) Bentonite sealants:

(i) Bentonite used to prepare slurries for sealing, or decommissioning shall be specifically designed for this purpose. At no time shall grout slurry contain materials that are toxic, polluting, develop odor or color changes, or serve as a micro-bacterial nutrient. All bentonite slurries shall be prepared and installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. All additives must be certified by a recognized certification authority such as NSF. Active solids content (bentonite) shall be twenty percent by weight or greater in all bentonite slurries.

(ii) Unhydrated bentonite--pelletized, granulated, powder, or chip bentonite may be used in the construction of seals or in decommissioning of resource protection wells. The bentonite material shall be specifically designed for sealing or decommissioning and be within the industry tolerances for dry western sodium bentonite. Polymer additives must be designed and manufactured to meet industry standards to be nondegrading and must not act as a medium which will support or promote the growth of micro-organisms. All unhydrated bentonite used for sealing or decommissioning must be free of organic polymers. Placement of bentonite shall conform to the manufacturer's specifications and result in a seal free of voids or bridges.

(b) Cement sealants:

(i) Neat cement consists of either portland cement types I, II, III, or high-alumina cement mixed with not more than six gallons of potable water per sack of cement (ninety-four pounds per sack).

(ii) Neat cement grout consists of neat cement with up to five percent bentonite clay added, by dry weight of the bentonite. Bentonite is to be added to improve flow qualities and compensate for shrinkage.

(iii) Concrete sealants consist of clean, hard and durable aggregate with not less than five sacks (ninety-four pounds per sack) of portland cement per cubic yard of concrete sealant.

(A) The maximum diameter of aggregate particles may not exceed 1 1/2 inches, but in any case may not exceed 1/5 the minimum width of the casing thickness.

(B) The ratio of coarse aggregate to fine aggregate (passing No. 4 U.S. Standard Sieve) must be approximately 1 1/2 to 1 by volume, but in any case, may not exceed 2 to 1 nor be less than 1 to 2.

(iv) Expanding agents, such as aluminum powder, may be used at a rate not exceeding 0.075 ounce (1 level teaspoon) per sack (ninety-four pounds per sack) of dry cement. The powder may not contain polishing agents. High-alumina cement and portland cement of any type must not be mixed together.

(5) This section may not preclude the use of new sealant materials which have been approved by the technical advisory group.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-460  What is the decommissioning process for resource protection wells? (1) Resource protection wells that were not constructed in accordance with these regulations, or for which a drilling report required under this section is missing shall be decommissioned in one of the following ways:

(a) Perforate the casing from the bottom to land surface and pressure grout the casing.

(i) Perforations shall be at least four equidistant cuts per row, and one row per foot. Each cut shall be at least one and one-half inches long.

(ii) Apply enough pressure to force the sealing material through the perforations, filling any voids on the outside of the casing.

(iii) The remainder of the casing shall be filled with cement grout, neat cement, or bentonite slurry.

(b) Withdraw the casing and fill the bore hole with cement grout, neat cement, or bentonite as the casing is being withdrawn.

(2) If it can be verified through a field examination and review of the drilling report that the resource protection well was constructed in accordance with these regulations, it shall be decommissioned by:

(a) Filling the casing from bottom to land surface with bentonite, cement grout, or neat cement; and

(b) Placing a cap on the casing.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 173-160-990  Well construction illustrations.



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REPEALER



The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:







WAC 173-160-055 Well construction notification (start card).

WAC 173-160-065 Design and construction.

WAC 173-160-075 Design and construction--Sealing of casing--General.

WAC 173-160-085 Capping.

WAC 173-160-095 Relationship to other authorities.

WAC 173-160-105 Comparable construction standards.

WAC 173-160-115 Enforcement.

WAC 173-160-125 Appeals.

WAC 173-160-135 Regulation review.

WAC 173-160-205 Location of well site and access requirements.

WAC 173-160-215 Design and construction--Well completion--General.

WAC 173-160-225 Design and construction--Casing.

WAC 173-160-235 Recommended well diameters.

WAC 173-160-245 Design and construction--Sealing materials.

WAC 173-160-255 Design and construction--Sealing of consolidated formations.

WAC 173-160-265 Sealing of unconsolidated formations without significant clay beds.

WAC 173-160-275 Sealing of unconsolidated formations with clay beds.

WAC 173-160-285 Special sealing standards for artesian wells.

WAC 173-160-295 Artificial gravel-packed wells--General.

WAC 173-160-305 Sealing of artificial gravel-packed wells.

WAC 173-160-315 Sealing of dug wells.

WAC 173-160-325 Special standards for driven or jetted wells.

WAC 173-160-335 Upper terminal of well.

WAC 173-160-345 Testing of well.

WAC 173-160-355 Testing of well--Access port or pressure gage.

WAC 173-160-365 Disinfection.

WAC 173-160-375 Quality of drilling water.

WAC 173-160-385 Pump installation.

WAC 173-160-395 Explosives.

WAC 173-160-405 Chemical conditioning.

WAC 173-160-415 Abandonment of wells.

WAC 173-160-425 Abandonment of wells--Abandonment of drilled or jetted wells.

WAC 173-160-435 Abandonment of wells--Abandonment of gravel-packed wells.

WAC 173-160-445 Abandonment of wells--Abandonment of artesian wells.

WAC 173-160-455 Abandonment of wells--Abandonment of dug wells.

WAC 173-160-465 Abandonment of wells--Plugging of test wells.

WAC 173-160-475 Artificial recharge of ground-water bodies.

WAC 173-160-500 Design and construction--General.

WAC 173-160-510 Design and construction--Surface protective measures.

WAC 173-160-520 Design and construction--Casing.

WAC 173-160-530 Design and construction--Cleaning.

WAC 173-160-540 Design and construction--Well screen, filter pack, and development.

WAC 173-160-550 Design and construction--Well seals.

WAC 173-160-560 Abandonment of resource protection wells.

Legislature Code Reviser 

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office