The Highland County Health Department Private Water System Program oversees the site selection, installation, testing, and inspection of private water systems in Highland County. Private Water Systems are potable water wells, ponds, springs, cisterns and hauled water storage tanks that provide drinking water to fewer than 25 people, less than sixty days out of the year, and have less than 15 service connections. These would include single water supplies that serve homes, small businesses, small churches, small mobile home parks or communities with fewer than 25 residents.

All system inspectors are Registered Sanitarians in the State of Ohio, and regularly attend training and conferences to remain current with the new technologies and science associated with private water systems.




Frequently Asked Questions

What do I have to do to get my well approved?

A registered contractor must submit the proper well information forms, and a safe water sample must be taken.


Who is allowed to install wells?

Private water system contractors who are registered in the state of Ohio


Can you recommend an installer?

No, but you may use the phone book listings, or contact the Highland County Health Department, Environmental Health Division for more information.


What does a water sample cost and does that work?

Refer to our current fee schedule. Note: each type of test has it’s own fee.

New private water system permits - 3 water samples are included in the permit fee. Samples must be taken by the Health Department.

Existing private water systems - Homeowners of exiting systems can also have their water sampled. Sampling in most cases can be done not only by the Health Department but also by the homeowner. Samples must be pre-paid prior to the collection. If a homeowner is going to take the sample they must come into the office and pay for the test, pick-up the collection instructions, and pick-up the proper sampling bottle for that test. Samples are collected on Monday afternoons between 1-4pm. Results, depending on type of test, are generally back in 1 week.

What do I do if I think my well is not working properly?

Call the health department for evaluation and advice.

 How often should I bleach my well?

While there is no official health department recommendation, many home owners bleach their wells every six months. Well Chlorination Instructions


What are some different types of wells?

Dug, spring, and drilled wells. Dug wells are generally older wells which have been hand dug to depths around 20 feet. These wells are no longer constructed, and often have contamination issues. Spring wells are generally older as well. Spring wells are water sources that appear naturally from the ground, and are collected and pumped to homes. These wells are also likely to face contamination issues. Drilled wells are modern wells which can vary from 25 feet deep to several hundred feet deep, depending on the location of the well. These wells are sealed and should operate in such a way to remove possible contamination.


How long will my well last?

Indefinitely, assuming that the groundwater level never drops below the bottom of the well shaft.


What do I do with an old well?

If you wish to put the well back into service, then it should be evaluated and tested by the health department. Many older wells need upgrades or additional equipment in order to provide safe water supplies. If you no longer wish to use a well, it must be properly abandoned. Contact the health department for more information regarding abandoning an old well.


For information regarding chlorination, well placement, well upkeep, and other private water system issues, contact the Highland County Health Department, Environmental Health Division.