• Background

Environmental Health

Environmental Health

Onsite Water Supply

Welcome to the Office of On-site Water Supply

Ground water resources are one of Monroe County’s most valuable natural resources.  A large percentage of Monroe County residents acquire their potable drinking water from beneath the surface of the ground.  Aquifers are geological formations beneath the surface of the ground that can produce water.  Drilled water wells are used to extract the groundwater for use.  Aquifer protection from biological and chemical contamination is critical.  Once an aquifer is contaminated, clean up is extremely costly and difficult and often impossible.  Key aspects of groundwater protection include properly constructed wells and sewage disposal systems.  Aquifer protection is not often considered a part of the installation of municipal water systems.  However, improperly abandoned wells that result from these connections are conduits for contamination directly into the aquifer.  Properly plugging these unused wells will greatly increase the safety of this valuable natural resource. 

Click on the links for more information on the following topics:


Hauled Water

Potable Drinking Water

Abandoned Wells

Common Questions:

How do I obtain a well permit?
You may come into the Health Department and complete the permit application and pay the permit application fee and associated lab fees. The water sample will be collected by a sanitarian and analyzed at the accredited water laboratory that the Health Department.  Your well permit will be given a final approval by the Environmental Health Division once a safe water sample is obtained and a satisfactory construction inspection has taken place.

How do I sample my water well?
From time to time property owners may want to sample their wells to ensure there has not been any contamination of the water supply.   You may obtain a sterile sample bottle from an accredited water laboratory or from the Monroe County Health Department Environmental Health Division if you plan to use us for your analysis.  From the water tap closest to the raw water inlet of your home, prior to any water treatment, you may have installed on your water system, turn on the water and allow the water to run for approximately (5) five minutes. If there is a filter screen installed on the end of the faucet, remove it before running the water. After the (5) minutes, fill the sterile bottle and return it to the lab within the specified time that the laboratory indicates to you.  The water samples should be refrigerated and then kept on ice during transport.

If you have questions about the water sample results and the laboratory is unable to assist you, a sanitarian may be able help to explain those. Contact our office at (734) 240-7900.

My well went dry what do I do now?
First, contact a licensed well driller in the State of Michigan. The driller will help you troubleshoot the problem and supply your home with a safe water supply as soon as possible. Then, prior to commencing work on the well, contact the Monroe County Health Department to secure the proper water supply permits.

In the meantime, do not attempt to use the well in hope that the water has somehow returned. This can cause problems with mechanical equipment that is used in the water supply and can ultimately cost you money. You will have to utilize bottled water for drinking and cooking until you have a safe water supply. And, depending on the problem, the existing well may be upgraded or a new well may have to be drilled.

Refer to Site Plan Proposed On-Site Water Supply (pdf)

How do I chlorinate my well?
Refer to Chlorination page
I have a connection to municipal water now, what do I do with my old well?
If the well is not going to be used it should be sealed rather than capped. The term “sealed” means to be filled up with an impervious material. You will need to contact a licensed well driller to have the well properly sealed or abandoned. The sealing material or grout should be pumped into the well from the bottom up under constant pressure to ensure complete sealing of the hole.

I think my well went dry because of a large capacity well close to my house, what can I do?
You may contact the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and file a groundwater dispute complaint.  The hotline number for the MDEQ to file a complaint is 1-866-662-9278.  A staff person from the MDEQ should contact you within five (5) days of the complaint being filed. 

Want to learn more?

As of April 1, 2001, the Monroe County Sanitary Code provides the following provisions for on-site water supplies for new construction and replacement wells.

Request for variance form:  This form is used for replacement wells if a deviation from the requirements of the Monroe County Sanitary Code or the State Water Well Construction Code (Part 127, Act 368, P.A. 1978, as amended)

MDEQ Well Construction Unit  http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,207-135-3313_3675_3694---,00.html

Current Drinking Water Standards (http://www.epa.gov/safewater/index.html)

The Safe Drinking Water Act, Act 399, P.A. of 1976 

Water Systems Council Hotline