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Regulatory Pathfinder
for Coastal Development in South Carolina

Grouting for Individual Residential and Irrigation Wells

If you plan to grout a well, certain state regulations apply. Those with responsibilities for the well must comply with those regulations, which vary depending on whether the well is drilled or bored. See below for particulars, and contact the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control if you have any questions.

  1. The drilled hole's diameter has to be large enough to allow a minimum of 1.5 inches annular space on all sides of the casing for forced injection of grout through a tremie pipe.
  2. Grout must be composed of neat cement, a bentonite cement mixture, or high solids sodium bentonite grout.
    1. Neat cement: must be composed of Class A, Type I Portland Cement mixed with not more than 7 gallons of clean water per bag (one cubic foot or 94 pounds) of cement with a density of 15 to 16 pounds per gallon, or to manufacturer's specifications.
    2. Bentonite: cement grout must be composed of powdered bentonite (less than 5% by weight) mixed at not more than 8 gallons of water to the bag, with a density of 14-15 pounds per gallon, or manufacturer's specifications.
    3. High solids sodium bentonite grout: must have a minimum of 20% solids and be mixed to manufacturer's specifications with water and/or other required additives.
  3. Drilled Wells: Grout must fill the entire annular space from a minimum depth of 20 feet from the land surface at the time of well completion, unless DHEC approves otherwise. DHEC discourages wells less than 20 feet be used for human consumption. However, DHEC recognizes that differing hydrogeologic conditions across the state may require the well to be screened or completed at less than 20 feet to obtain potable water in a shallow aquifer. Wells may be less than 20 feet deep but no less than 15 feet deep. In these cases Type II and III well grout must extend from 1 foot above the screen to the land surface. The entire annular space must be filled with grout in Type I and IV wells. Other minimum well depths may be allowed only with a variance.
  4. Bored Well: Grout must fill the entire annular space from a minimum depth of 15 feet from the land surface at the time of well completion to ensure water does not enter the well from joints in the well casing. Bored wells must be more than 15 feet deep.
  5. Grouting must be accomplished with forced injection to emplace the grout. The tremie pipe must be lowered to the bottom of the zone to be grouted when emplacing the grouting material. The tremie pipe must be kept full continuously from the start to finish of the grouting procedure. The discharge end must be continuously submerged in the grout until the zone to be grouted is completely filled.
  6. Within 5 days of the borehole being completed a well must be grouted in-place.
  7. When using high solids sodium bentonite grouts a vapor barrier at the land surface, at least the width of the annular space, made of suitable materials such as native soils, gravel, sand, or thermoplastic material, is required for public safety and structural stability of the well, as approved by DHEC.

S.C. Code Regs. 61-71(F) and (G), available here.

Last Updated October 29, 2010

ABOUT THIS PATHFINDER

This project was supported through a generous grant from the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. The principal investigator is Professor Kim Diana Connolly at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Two law students, Keith Bartlett and Valerie Cochran, provided invaluable work toward project completion. Technical assistance with web design was provided by USC School of Law webmaster Tobias Brasier. Broken links should be reported to lawweb@law.sc.edu. This website is NOT intended as legal advice, and particularized analysis by professionals should be sought wherever appropriate.

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