Limited Use Drinking Water Systems & Well Construction Activities
Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County Environmental Public Health Program
Limited Use Public Water Systems (public water systems which are not covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act) and multi-family water systems are regulated by the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County (DOH-St. Johns). Our staff regularly inspects new construction and operation of Limited Use Public Water Systems and multi-family water systems within St. Johns County, Florida.
The construction of private and commercial wells is regulated by Chapter 62-532 and Chapter 40C-3 of the Florida Administrative Code. Beginning September 10, 2020 please contact the St. Johns River Water Management District regarding permits for the construction, abandonment, and repair of wells at 904-448-7926.
For more information on wells, please visit the Florida Department of Health Drinking Water Website.
- Is your well water, well?
- Helpful Links
Q: WHERE DOES ARSENIC COME FROM?
A: There are both natural sources of arsenic and manmade sources. Arsenic
is a part of the earth’s crust and occurs naturally in soil and rock. Arsenic from soil and rock can dissolve into groundwater. Historic industrial activities can also add arsenic to groundwater. While arsenic is not in routine use today, it was once commonly used in some pesticides. Residues remain from past use and improper disposal.
Learn More: Arsenic in Well Water
Health Advisory Level (HAL)s are developed when a chemical is found in drinking water and no regulatory standard (MCL) exists for the chemical. The HAL concentration of a chemical in drinking water is a value that, based on the available data, is virtually certain not to cause adverse human health effects if consumed over a lifetime. HALs provide guidance for the public and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on the potential for these chemicals to cause harm to humans.
The maximum contaminant level (MCL) is a standard established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the Safe Drinking Water Act. It represents an acceptable level of a chemical under specified conditions that ensures the safety of a public drinking water supply. MCLs are used by DEP to regulate the level of chemicals allowed in drinking water.
Acronyms used: HAL = Health Advisory Level MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level.
Q: WHAT IS coliform bacteria?
A: Bacteria are a type of life form we can only see with a microscope. Also known as microbes, they occur throughout the environment. Coliform bacteria are a large group of related types of them. Most are harmless to humans, but some, such as E. coli, relate to the gut tracts of warm blooded animals. They can cause disease with symptoms like severe diarrhea.
Learn More: Coliform Bacteria Fact Sheet
Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)
Q: WHAT IS EDB?
A: EDB is a man-made chemical that was manufactured in the United States for more than 70 years. Millions of pounds per year were produced in the early 1980s, but amounts have declined since then.
Q: WHAT IS NITRATE?
A: Bacteria in nature can change nitrogen to nitrate. Nitrate is also found in fertilizers, human and animal waste and other chemicals like pesticides.
Q: WHY IS NITRATE IN DRINKING WATER A CONCERN?
A: Newborn infants become ill if they drink water or formula made with water that has a high level of nitrate. This illness is known as ‘blue baby syndrome’ because the baby’s skin looks a bluish color. A baby with this condition needs immediate medical attention. However, very little danger of this illness exists for children who are six months of age or older.
Learn More: Nitrate in Well Water
Odor & Staining
Q: WHY DO I GET RED STAINING ON MY PLUMBING FIXTURES AND CLOTHES?
Q: WHY DOES MY WELL WATER SMELL LIKE EGGS?
Q: WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IRON STAINING AND ODORS?
A: Hydrogen sulfide and sulfur bacteria in your water. Hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) can occur in wells anywhere in Florida. It gives the water a characteristic “rotten egg” smell and can cause odor in clothes.
Learn More: Odor & Staining in Well Water
- Water Well Permitting Requirements for St. Johns County (PDF, <1MB)
- St. Johns River Water Management District
- Private Well Testing
- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection
- St. Johns County Property Appraiser
- St. Johns County Code Enforcement
- The Florida Environmental Health Association
- St. Johns County Utility Department
- City of St. Augustine
- City of St. Augustine Beach