Health Dept. begins new well program Print
News - Health Dept News

For more information, contact:
David Teague, Public Information Officer
Haywood County
828-452-7305; 828-400-9691 or
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As of January 1, anyone who plan to construct a new well, abandon a well or make repairs that involve breaking or opening the seal on a well must first obtain a permit from the Haywood County Health Department.

In an effort to protect water quality and public health, and in response to state law, the Health Department has initiated a new well inspection and testing program that requires that a permit be obtained before any drilling, repairing or abandonment activity can take place. The cost of obtaining a well permit will be a base fee of $250, plus the cost of a North Carolina test kit that tests for bacteria and chemicals in the water. The well kit tests for 19 different indicators, such as arsenic, lead, and mercury. The cost of the test kit is estimated to be $55-$60.

Legislation requiring all counties to develop a well inspection and testing program was approved by the N.C. General Assembly in 2006. Counties were given until July 1, 2008 to have the program in place. By implementing the well program early, Haywood County qualified for $60,000 in grant funds from the NC Dept. of Environmental and Natural Resources to start the program. The Haywood County Board of Commissioners committed $49,262 to help cover the initial costs of the well program. Permit fees are expected to cover the cost of the program in the future.

Two new Environmental Health Specialist positions were approved by the Board of Commissioners to implement the program. One of those positions has been filled and the other is expected to be hired as soon as possible. Last fall, the Board of Health adopted a set of rules for the program. A copy of the rules is available on the Health Department page of the Haywood County website (www.haywoodnc.net) or by calling the Health Department’s Environmental Health division at 452-6682.

The Health Department estimates that about 15,792 of the 30,370 households in Haywood County, or 52 percent, are served by wells.