From Private Well to Supplemental Well

What is a supplemental well?

Water & Sewage - Supp Well 1A supplemental well provides water for purposes other than drinking. Watering the lawn or garden, filling a pond or a swimming pool, washing the car, are examples of supplemental well use. All wells, potable (drinking) and supplemental, draw their water from geological formations called aquifers.

Why the concern with protection of the well?

Protecting private water wells means protecting groundwater.

About 5 million people in Illinois rely on groundwater for their drinking water. Although much of DuPage County receives drinking water from Lake Michigan, many people throughout the county still drink water from local underground aquifers.

Water in these aquifers is not static; it travels from one region to another. Because the water travels underground, contamination in one location can affect a large area. Unfortunately, groundwater purity and availability are often taken for granted, which can lead to its contamination.

Water & Sewage - Abandoned Well 1Supplemental wells, just like potable wells, are vertical pathways into this groundwater supply. If the supplemental well is not properly maintained, it can act as a direct channel for contaminating the aquifer.

Where does water come from to supply the aquifer?

Aquifers get their water from the hydrologic cycle. Part of the hydrologic cycle involves water from precipitation soaking into and being filtered by the soil as it moves to an area where it is stored (an aquifer).

Water in an aquifer is located in spaces between particles of sand, gravel, soil, and rock as well as in the cracks and channels of relatively solid rock.

What do I need to know before converting my well to a supplemental well?

Some public water suppliers, be they municipal, county, or a private company, have regulations that prohibit the use of supplemental wells. These wells must be properly sealed (sealing application) within 30 days after connection to a public water supply and a sealing affidavit filed with the DuPage County Health Department.

If your city, municipality, or other public water provider does not object to the use of supplemental wells, you may apply to the DuPage County Health Department to keep the well.

Keeping the well involves some inspections, paperwork, and a Notice of Supplemental Well form that you will file at the County Recorder of Deeds office.

What do I need to do to convert my well to a supplemental well?

Water & Sewage - Supp Well 2Contact the DuPage County Health Department about keeping your well for supplemental use. The Health Department will then need to conduct an inspection of your well and well components, and collect a water sample. The inspection and sample will determine if you will be able to keep your well. The well must be of approved construction and must produce water that is safe for human consumption.

To convert your well, you also need to comply with the following additional requirements of Chapter 18, Article 18-4, Private Water Supply Ordinance, of the DuPage County Code:

  • Provide approved backflow protection for the well system. Typically, this means having hose bib vacuum breakers on outside faucets, a reduced pressure zone backflow device for a buried sprinkler system, and/or an approved fixed air gap for pond leveling wells.
  • Complete and record a Notice of Supplemental Well form. You will need to file this document on the property's deed at the DuPage County Recorder of Deeds Office.

About Well Repairs, Buried Wells, and Wells in Pits:

  • If repairs are needed to make the well operational or to bring it into compliance with the Private Water Supply Ordinance, you may be required to obtain a repair permit from the Health Department. The work must be completed within a specified time, usually 30 days from when your well was inspected and the problem noted.
  • If you have a buried seal well or a well in a pit, it must be upgraded to meet the provisions of the Private Water Supply Ordinance. This type of work requires a well repair permit from the Health Department.

What are the maintenance requirements for a supplemental well?

As owner of the well, you must maintain the well in compliance with all state and county well regulations. This includes completing and recording a Notice of Supplemental Well form and allowing the Health Department access to the well for inspection and sampling.

Am I Required to have Notice of Supplemental Well filed with the County Recorder of Deeds?

Yes, if you want to keep your well after you have connected to a public water supply. This is simply a notice that states that although your property is served by a public water supply, there is also a water well on the property.

What happens if I don't complete the Notice of Supplemental Well form and submit it to the Health Department?

Then your well must be sealed (sealing application) and a well sealing affidavit filed with the DuPage County Health Department.

Provisions in the Private Water Supply Ordinance mandate that supplemental wells must meet code requirements or be sealed. Water well sealing must be done by a State of Illinois licensed water well contractor, or may be done by the owner-occupant with prior approval from the DuPage County Health Department.

For information about supplemental wells and well sealing, contact a sanitarian at the public health center that serves your city.