Information for Homeowners
Below are tabs that contain links to private water systems information for property owners.
List of Registered Private Water System Contractors
This page provides the lists of registered private water systems contractors and water haulers.
Registered Private Water Systems Contractors
Anyone in the business of working on private water systems in Ohio must register with Ohio Department of Health (ODH) as a Private Water Systems Contractor. Homeowners, who wish to construct, alter or seal their private water systems on their primary or secondary property, are required to register (without the bonding requirement) as of April 1, 2011. Property owners should contact the Local Health Department office and the ODH Private Water Systems Program about Property Owner Registration. More information is available in the tab for Property Owner Registration.
The list of actively registered private water systems contractors can be found using the links below. The lists are updated as contractors are added. Please check back if you cannot find a contractor listed or call the ODH Private Water Systems program at 614-644-7558.
- Ohio List of Private Water Systems Contractors
- Out of State List of Private Water Systems Contractors
Contact the ODH Private Water Systems Program for information regarding the previous years registration.
Registered Water Haulers
Please Note: Private Water Systems Water Haulers are registered at the local Health District in which their business is located. Once the company is registered and their truck is inspected and approved by their 'home' health district, the truck receives a state water hauler registration sticker which allows them to haul water anywhere within the state of Ohio. The Ohio Department of Health relies on the local health districts who register and inspect the water haulers to provide the information about water haulers they register. If a local health district has not reported to ODH that a water hauler has been registered it will not appear on the list.
How To Find My Local Health Department
Property Owner Registration
Property Owner Registration To Construct, Alter, or Seal a Private Water System On Property They Own
Property owners who intend to work on their private water system should contact their local health district or the Private Water Systems Program staff at (614) 644-7558. To find the local health department for you area, click Find My Local Health Department.
Property Owners, for the purposes of the private water systems program, are any person or persons who owns property in which a well, pond, spring, cistern, or hauled water storage tank exists for the purposes of supplying water to a dwelling, dwellings, or building for human consumption, including toilet flushing and laundry.
Effective April 1, 2011, owners of a primary or secondary property, or property rentals in which they do not reside, or owners altering or sealing water wells for their dwelling house shall obtain a registration to construct, alter, or seal a private water system.
Doing work on your own private water system is no longer a simple matter in Ohio. As of April 1, 2011 there are now registration and surety bonding requirements depending on the type of work you are going to do.
If you are a property owner who lives in the house that has the private water system you intend to work on or are a land lord, then you are required to register with Ohio Department of Health as a private water system contractor and obtain either a $10,000 or $20,000 surety bond from an insurance company if you intend to:
- Construct a new system (even if you are replacing an old system) which includes:
- Drilling a new well;
- Installing or altering a spring;
- Installing or altering a rainwater cistern or hauled storage tank;
- Digging or altering a pond and installing the treatment equipment;
- Installing a pitless adaptor on a private water system;
- Installing a pressure tank on a private water system;
- Installing continuous disinfection and filtration on a private water system.
You are required to become a registered private water contractor with the Ohio Department of Health but are exempt from the surety bonding requirement if you are:
- Altering, as defined in OAC 3701-28-01(A), an existing private water system; or
- Sealing a private water system (OAC 3701-28-17).
You are not required to become a registered private water system contractor if you are a property owner who lives in the house that has the private water system on which you intend to do a "REPAIR" as defined in OAC 3701-28-01(BBBB) which includes:
- Replacing pumps;
- Replacing wires;
- Routine disinfection not associated with a permit; and
- Similar activities.
Property Owner Registration Forms
Contact your Local Health District to discuss the work you intend to perform on a private water system and to obtain the property owner registration application forms, or you may contact the Ohio Department of Health's Private Water Systems Program at (614) 644-7558.
Emergencies occur for various different reasons which may put you and your family's health and safety at risk. In some cases, an emergency may occur due to a mechanical or physical malfunction, such as the pump breaking down, running out of water, or a power outage. In other cases, the emergency may be due to natural causes such as flooding or drought.
When you are affected by an emergency situation affecting your water supply, you should always contact your local health district office. You local health district may be aware of the emergency affecting large-scale areas and may have helpful information that will help you properly deal with the emergency. For an emergency affecting only private water system, the local health district will guide the guide through the process needed to either alter or replace the private water system.
Below are tabs for the different types of emergencies. Each tab contains a link to the fact sheet covering that specific type of emergency.
Out of Water
A well going dry or a well that fails to produce an adequate amount of potable water can be a stressful situation for a homeowner. Running out of water can pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of the residents of the dwelling and may be considered an emergency if there is no alternative potable water source.
Try to determine the cause for the lack of water. You may need to contact a registered private water systems contractor to evaluate your system.
Once the system has been evaluated and a cause has been determined, contact a registered private water systems contractor to perform any necessary work on your system. If the work requires a permit, one must be obtained from your local health district prior to the work being performed.
- List of registered private water systems contractors
- Steps to Construct, Alter, and Seal a Private Water System (PWS) fact sheet
To find the contact information for your Local Health Department go to this webpage link. Click Find My Local Health Department.
Financial Resource Information
Household Water Well Program Loan
A household water well program low-interest loan is currently open to owner-occupied homes located in rural areas of Ohio with a household income up to a maximum of $55,216. This loan is available for water well improvements and in home water treatment systems.
For additional information about how to qualify for the loan:
- Go to Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) Private Well Assistance website; or
- Call 1-800-775-9767, or
- Email Angie McConnell at email@example.com.
Water Well Trust
The Water Well Trust (WWT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created by the Water Systems Council. The WWT and it's partners build wells for low-income families in the US that need access to a clean, safe water supply.
They serve Americans living primarily in rural, unincorporated areas or minority communities that may be isolated and difficult to reach. Their focus is to assist low-income families that cannot afford to pay for public water supplies, and those who live in areas where the extension of public water supplies to serve them doesn't make economic sense...for them, for the public water supply owners, for federal, state, or local funding sources.
For additional information, go to the Water Well Trust website.
Community Development Block Grant Funds
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are not allocated specifically for private water system replacement, but have been utilized in some Ohio jurisdictions for the repair and replacement of home water systems. Funds are generally limited to repair or replacement of failing systems, but have also been used for system abandonment and access to public water. Eligible applicants usually must income qualify and be owner/occupants.
CDBG Contact: Your Local Board of County Commissioners
Community Housing Improvement Program
Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) funds may be available in eligible jurisdictions. Applicants can apply for funds to address housing problems that will cover improvements to assure a safe and healthy environment, including the repair or replacement of a private water system for a home.
CHIP Contact: Your Local Board of County Commissioners
USDA - Rural Housing and Rural Utilities Programs
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding is available to both property owners seeking grants or low interest loans for repair or replacement of private water systems through the Rural Housing Service program under 502 Direct Loans and 504 Repair Loans and Grants. Please contact either the state or district office below for more information.
The Rural Utilities Service also provides funds to eligible rural jurisdictions for public water projects to serve neighborhoods with a significant water supply needs (Water and Wastewater Disposal Loans and Grants).
- USDA Rural Housing Service web page
- Single Family Housing Repair Loan & Grants
- Ohio Office Contact: (614) 255-2400
- USDA Household Water Well System Grants
- Ohio Office Contact: (614) 255-2400
Housing and Urban Development
The federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program may also be used to provide low interest loans to homeowners for the repair and rehabilitation of homes, and these costs may also be included as part of the home purchase depending on the final appraised value. Please contact the HUD office below for more information.
- HUD website
- Cleveland: (216) 357-7900
- Columbus: (614) 469-5737
Types of Private Water Systems
This page provides information about wells, cisterns, hauled water storage tanks, ponds, and springs. It also includes information on Maintenance and Continuous Disinfection. Please click on the link below for information about the different types of private water systems.
This page provides information on how to properly deal with unused wells.
Resource and Educational Information
This page includes the list of private water systems contractors, law and rules pertaining to private water systems, fact sheets, educational courses, and links to other State and National agencies, associations and organizations. Please click on the link below to go to the Resource and Education page.
To learn about private water systems and groundwater, click Learn more about your private water.
Well Log and Sealing Report Search
Well log records that describe the construction, depth and yield of water wells are maintained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. More recent records (since the 1981) may also be filed with the local health district.
The Ohio Department of Natural resources offers an on-line search for well log records. Please click on the link below to go to the on-line search Web page:
If you are unable to locate a well log or sealing report please contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey at (614) 265-6740. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will also supply access to sealing reports filed for wells sealed in the State of Ohio.
You may also contact your local health district office. If you do not have your local health department's contact information, go to Find My Local Health Department webpage.
Well Water Interpretation Tool
The Residential Water and Sewage Program at ODH has worked with OSU Extension and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency on the development of a new Web-based water quality interpretation tool for private well owners. The purpose of the tool is to help private well owners who have their water sampled from their well to understand the lab results and what actions they should take if necessary. Water sample results from a lab sheet are entered into the tool and with one click, well owners are provided with the standard for the parameter of interest, the natural range in ground water in Ohio for comparison, recommendations on actions, health effects and treatment options if applicable.
The Well Water Interpretation Tool is part of the Know Your Well Water website, hosted at Ohio State University (OSU) Extension.
- Well Water Interpretation Tool website
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are manmade chemicals that are used in products such as carpeting, upholstery, cookware, food packaging, and firefighting foam. PFAS contamination from manufacturing operations and firefighting activities can migrate through soil, posing potential contamination threats to surface and ground waters. Although the health impacts of exposure to PFAS chemicals are not fully known, some studies have shown that several chemicals within the PFAS family could negatively impact health.
The following factsheets give guidance to owners and operators of private water systems on treating for PFAS:
- PFAS - Point of Entry Water Treatment - This factsheet provides information about point of entry (also called whole house) water treatment options.
- PFAS - Point of Use Water Treatment - This factsheet provides information about point of use water treatment options.
- PFAS in Drinking Water - This factsheet provides general information on PFAS in drinking water including what they are, how they get there, the health effects, and more.
- PFAS - How to Read a Lab Report - This factsheet provides information on how to understand your PFAS sampling results.
For information on the health effects of PFAS, visit the ODH Health Assessment Section Chemical Factsheets page. PFAS information is located under the "Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Packet" menu.
For information about Ohio's PFAS strategy, current sampling efforts, and more, visit pfas.ohio.gov.