Understanding Water Wells in Northbridge, Massachusetts

If you’re thinking about installing a water well in Northbridge, MA there are a number aspects to understand for such an important project. Understanding your town regulations is an essential part of compiling the cost of the total project. When you decide to drill a water well in Northbridge, you’ll be responsible for a permit fee, plot plan, and water testing.


Location and Permit Information

In order to move forward with your well, you need to pay a well construction permit fee of $100 in Northbridge. You’ll also need to supply a certified plot plan at the time you submit your application. Your plot plan guidelines will need to account for specific distances from areas such as the property line and septic tank to the well head.

  • Property lines and building sewers must be 10 feet from the well head.
  • Any structure or welling needs to be 20 feet from the well head.
  • Private or public roadways and storm drains are required to be 25 from the well head.
  • Any surface water or septic tanks must be 50 feet from the head.
  • Leeching facilities/cesspools, stables or manure storage, need to be 100 from the well head.
  • Underground storage tanks must be 200 feet away from the head.
  • Waste disposal sites must be the farthest away from the well head, at a minimum distance of 500 feet.

Water Quality Testing

Pervasive water quality testing must be done in order to proceed with the well. Testing is done for hardness, alkalinity, color, turbidity, conductivity, and odor/sediment. Testing is also done for the following:

  • Total Coliform Bacteria
  • Sodium
  • Arsenic (Total)
  • E-Coli Bacteria
  • Nitrate
  • Lead
  • Calcium
  • Ammonia
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Chloride
  • pH
  • Flouride
  • Iron
  • Chlorine
  • Sulfate
  • Radon
  • Magnesium
  • Flouride
  • Manganese
  • P-dichlorobenzene
  • Radontetrachlorethylene
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Trichloroethane
  • Cis-1
  • Dichloroethylene
  • Toluene
  • Dichloroethylene
  • Ethylbenzene
  • MonochloRobenzene

Water testing requires a four-hour flow test with the following


Volume of Water = (Number of bedrooms +1) x (110 gallons/BR) x (safety factor of 2) = Number of Gallons Needed Daily

When you follow this formula for an example of a four-bedroom house with a well that is six inches in diameter and contains a 100 feet of standing water, the required volume is 1247 gallons that must be pumped through the well within 24 hours to illustrate its adequacy.

Real Estate Transfer

Although Northbridge, MA does not currently have real estate transfer requirements, it’s in a homeowner’s best interest to get the water quality and quantity tested to illustrate you have a well that is clean and safe to use.

Average wells in Northbridge typically range from 300-400 in depth, however there are differences. Some wells certainly run shallower or deeper. While the casing depth averages 40 feet, there are possibilities for deeper pockets.

For additional questions, contact the Northbridge Board of Health at 508-234- 3272.