Approximately 1 million Ohioans use private water systems as their drinking water source. Private water systems include wells, ponds, and springs, all of which are regulated by Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-28. In recent years there has been increased awareness about Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and the cyanobacteria toxins that can be produced by a HAB event. Note that different types of cyanobacteria produce different types of toxins. In Ohio’s lake and ponds, microcystin appears to be predominant HAB.
To view a fact sheet for flooded drinking water wells click HERE for simple procedures for homeowners.
To view information regarding power outages and private water systems, click HERE.
Click on the following links for PDF resources:
- Private Drinking Water Testing for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
- Private Drinking Water Treatment for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
- Pond Water Treatment for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
This is a State of Ohio program conducted by the Health Department, administered under the Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-28
Our Private Water Systems Program consists of the following areas:
- Inspection, by permit, of installation of drinking water systems (wells, cisterns, ponds, and springs) in areas not served by city or municipal water systems.
- Registration of water system contractors through the State of Ohio.
- Registration and inspection of water hauling vehicles.
- Water system evaluations for real estate transfers.
- Water sample collection.
- Investigation and abatement of water system-related nuisances.
Why is it a good idea to have my water well checked annually?
An annual checkup by a qualified water well contractor is the best way to ensure problem-free service and quality water. Also, preventative maintenance usually is less costly than emergency maintenance, and good well maintenance — like good car maintenance — can prolong the life of your well and related equipment. NGWA further recommends you test your water whenever there is a change in taste, odor, or appearance, or when the system is serviced.
Water system installation inspections are made when a new, altered, or replacement water system is to be installed on a property. A state-registered private water systems contractor completes a state permit application and obtains a permit for the installation/alteration of the water system (well, cistern, pond, or spring). Upon completion of the water system, an inspection by the Health Department will be made of the system and a water sample collected to assure the system is installed according the state water code and is free from bacteria.
Water sample collection: As part of a new or altered water system installation, or if the homeowner wants to know the quality of their water, arrangements can be made with our department to collect a water sample for laboratory testing. The water will be tested for bacteria only and not for chemical quality/content. If chemical testing is desired, a list of environmental testing laboratories that provide this service is available in the yellow pages of your local phone book. Please be aware that a water sample cannot be submitted for testing if an individual collects a sample and brings it into the Health Department. Our staff is provided with sterile collection bottles from the lab and are trained in proper collection procedures to assure the sample is not contaminated during collection. Results are available generally within 3-5 business days after it is submitted to the lab. Sampling collection dates are Monday-Thursday only and not on these days if a holiday. A fee is associated with sample collection and a request form needs to be completed.
How do you interpret your well sample results?
The Ohio State University in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio EPA have developed an online assessment tool that offers instant water quality interpretation for Ohio residents . Please review instructions for this tool before entering your results. Please scroll down to the microbiological section to enter your results.
Investigation and abatement of water system-related nuisances: Occasionally, there may be situations involving water system contamination from bacteria or chemicals. Our department is available to investigate these situations. Depending on the circumstances, assistance from the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio EPA, or other applicable agency may be requested to help determine the contamination problem. Various water, bacterial, or chemical samples may be taken, or the use of a down-hole camera may be part of the investigation to determine the source(s) of the contamination. Click here for the nuisance form to be completed.
Registration of water system contractors is accomplished through the State of Ohio by the Ohio Department of Health. Our department maintains a current list of state-registered private water system contractors for Medina County and can be obtained by calling our office. The list can also be viewed on the Ohio Department of Health’s website.
Registration and inspection of water hauling vehicles is conducted annually by the Health Department. These vehicles obtain municipal water from approved municipal filling locations and provide water for hauled water storage tanks, cisterns, and swimming pools. The purpose of registration and inspection is to ensure that the truck, water storage tank, and associated hoses/pumping equipment are in good condition and will not pose a contamination condition when in use or in transporting water to final delivery points. For a current list of water haulers registered with our county please call our office.
Water system evaluation for real estate transfers: When homeowners sell their property, many lending institutions require that the water system be evaluated/inspected to assure the system is functioning properly and will provide safe water for the new buyer through the collection of a water sample. Our Health Department staff conducts dozens of these evaluations and water sampling annually. For more information, call our office at 330-723-9688, option 3.