Private Water Supplies
Under the Private Water Systems Program, sanitarians evaluate and sample private water systems, which include wells, cisterns, springs, ponds, and hauled water storage tanks. The Board of Health issues permits for the development of new private water systems and for the alteration of existing systems. These systems are inspected and sampled as part of the approval process.
A point of sale inspection is also offered. As part of this inspection, the private water system is sampled for the presence of Total Coliform Bacteria. We also sample non-community transient water systems, such as those found in food service operations, food establishments, schools, pools, and manufactured home parks that are not accessible to a municipal water supply. A link to an Application For Private Water Sampling has been provided. The fee schedule for all permits can be viewed in the LInks section below.
The Board of Health continues to be active in the Private Water Program on a statewide level and in the promotion of statewide legislation that strengthens our role in the protection of our water supplies.
The number of homes in Cuyahoga County that have access to municipal water continues to rise. For example, over the past few years, virtually all of the residents in the Village of Gates Mills have had city water made available to them. The extension of municipal water lines has also recently occurred in portions of many other communities.
An important, but sometimes forgotten issue associated with municipal water line connections, is proper private water system abandonment. Unused wells that are not properly sealed after homes have connected to a municipal water line can create numerous public health and safety concerns, along with serving as a potential contamination source to the aquifer. A link to a Private Water System Abandonment Fact Sheet has been provided.
The first step in properly abandoning a private water supply is to contact the local health department. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health can provide sealing information and legal requirements to the homeowner. A link to an Application For Private Water System Construction, Alteration or Sealing has been provided. This permit can be utilized for anyone planning on developing a new private water supply, modifying the existing system, or abandoning a water supply that will no longer be in use.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Health has been active in increasing the public awareness of proper private water system abandonment. Seminars have been held in communities impacted by municipal water line extensions. In addition to providing education on proper abandonment, we are attempting to locate and secure funding sources (i.e. grant monies, low interest loans, etc.) that could help reduce the homeownerís cost associated with properly abandoning a private water system.
Detailed Private Water System program information is also available at the Ohio Department of Health website. A list of is also available on this web site. Since these contractors are registered with the State of Ohio based on the community they are located in, you may need to view contractors listed in neighboring counties, including Lake, Portage, Geauga, Medina, Summit and Lorain Counties, to identify someone who frequently works here in Cuyahoga County. Detailed information about well logs (type, location, depth, etc.) can be found at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.
Nate McConoughey, RS
216-201-2001 ext 1239
Colin Johnson, RS, MPH
216-201-2001 ext 1212