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Water Resources

Chelan County Water Mitigation Program

When you apply for a new building permit through Chelan County Community Development, your drinking water well, spring, or surface water connection will need to be reviewed to ensure senior surface water and groundwater water rights are being protected.  See this page for more information:  County of Chelan, Washington.

Private Water Systems

Private Water Systems are those systems intended to serve one or two residences, primarily single family dwellings.  Prior to receiving an onsite septic permit for a new building (home or accessory dwelling unit), applicants must complete a Private Water Review to demonstrate access to an adequate water supply.  An adequate water supply is a state requirement for development. RCW 19.27.097 Building Permit Application - Evidence of Adequate Water Supply.

To complete a Private Water Review, please fill out the Private Water Review Application and return to ehsupport@cdhd.wa.gov.  Our office staff will contact you for payment once received.

A drilled well is most common source to show an adequate water supply for development.  A drilled well must meet the minimum standard of 400 gallons/day/connection.  A Well Log is most common method to determine the yield and drawdown, typically an air lift test is used.  In the event a Well Log is not available, a well pump test must be completed.  Methods to perform the pump test are referenced Per WAC 173-160-321.

The well pump test must be conducted for a period of at least one hour.  Please reference the CDHD Flow Test Capacity guidance document for detailed explanation. 

In addition to the Well Log or Pump Test, water samples of the well are required.  The water samples required are Coliform (bacteria) and Nitrates.  The primary lab in our area is Anatek Labs - Wenatchee.  For a complete list of licensed laboratories refer to Washington Department of Ecology Lab Search

Coliform samples must be collected within one year of the application and for approval must be negative or absent results.  If positive results are confirmed then conduct disinfection of well and resample.  Consult with Well Servicer or refer to Positive Coliform Instructions for disinfection process.

Nitrate samples must be collected within 3 years of application.  If results are 10ppm or higher, the MCL – maximum contaminant level, a Notice to Title is required.  Please refer to our fact sheet on Nitrates to know the health risks associated with high nitrate levels.

A 100’ sanitary control area is required to protect the well from potential contamination.  Sanitary Control Area Fact Sheet

Surface water sources are acceptable with valid water rights.  Contact Washington Department of Ecology – Central Regional Office for details. Water rights - Washington State Department of Ecology

Common surface water sources are lakes and streams.  The surface water source is required to have continuous disinfection and a Notice to Title .  Please reference CDC Guide to Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Household Use 

Dug Well or springs are acceptable sources of adequate water supply.  The same requirement of 400 gallons/day/connection apply for dug wells or springs.  Additionally, dug wells are very shallow and are highly susceptible to contamination as are springs therefore continuous disinfection is required and a Notice to Title.

Hauling Water is also an acceptable source of providing an adequate water supply.  However, several criteria must be met to allow hauling water as an approved water source.

  • Evidence of an inadequate water supply – dry well log or the area is known to lack water availability.
  • Water System Design – include Cistern capacity and manufacturer specifications, pump data (if applicable) and treatment and/or filtration methods.
  • Site Plan
  • Notice to Title

For General information regarding Private Wells refer to Important Information for Private Well Owners (wa.gov)

Public Water Systems

Group B Public Water Systems

Group B public water systems serve fewer than 15 service connections and less than 25 people per day OR fewer than 15 service connections and 25 or more people per day for fewer than 60 days per year (WAC 246-291-005). Typically these systems are designed and approved during land division projects (short or long plats).

Examples of a Group B system would include:

  • A business complex with 20 full time employees split between two buildings.
  • A system serving two duplexes and two single family homes (six total connections, 15 people)
  • A system serving three single family homes with one home having a separate shop that is a place of employment for people from outside the home. The other two homes include separate structure with piped water that serves as a retail or commercial business open to customers or clients. This system serves three dwelling units plus three nonresidential connections for a total of six connections.

The Health District can only approve new or expanding systems up to 9 connections and can’t approve any waivers to the Group B code. For systems over 9 connections and in need of waivers or variances, these systems need to be reviewed and approved by the Washington State Department of Health.

To apply for a New Group B Public Water System, or wish to modify or expand an existing Group B Public Water System, please submit the Group B Public Water System Application.

A well site inspection is a requirement for all new or proposed well sources for Group B and/or Group A Public Water Systems and requires a separate application.

Group A Public Water Systems

Group A public water systems generally serve 15 or more residential connections or 25 or more people a day.  Group A systems are reviewed, approved, and monitored by the Washington State Department of Health.

Public Water Availability

Drinking water supply must be verified prior to the acceptance of payment for an on-site septic permit application.  If the property is served by a public water supply, ask the water purveyor to fill out the Public Water Availability Checklist and submit to the Health District along with your on-site septic permit application.

Water Quality Testing

Water may contain contaminants that are harmful to human health. Prior to approval, water samples must be analyzed for the presence of coliform bacteria and nitrates. The Health District does not perform water quality testing.  Samples can be submitted to any private lab for analysis with the test results forwarded to the Health District for review.

Anatek Labs is the nearest lab in our area that performs testing, refer to contact information below or any certified lab in Washington State.

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