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Regulatory Pathfinder
for Coastal Development in South Carolina

Materials for Individual Residential and Irrigation Wells

If you plan to contruct a well, certain state regulations apply with respect to the materials you may use. 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.

Casing

Bored Wells Casing: Casing may be driven, lowered or installed in any way that will create a continuous water tight and plumb installation. Any and all piping that connects through the well casing must be watertight.

Drilled Well Casing:

  1. It may be driven, lowered, or installed in any manner that will effect a continuous water tight and plumb installation;
  2. A well point, drive pipe or drive shoe must be structurally suitable to prevent rupture during the driving of casing;
  3. Permanent well casing must be new, seamless or electric-resistance welded steel or galvanized pipe or thermoplastic pipe;
  4. Casings must meet the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and NSF approved;
  5. If it is plastic, a well casing must have watertight joints that must be glued or threaded and coupled.
  6. If the casing is metal it must be electrically welded or threaded and coupled with heavy recessed-type couplings;
  7. New steel casing that has mill markings and which conforms to the standard and specifications ASTM A-53, ASTM A-120, or American Petroleum Institute (API-5L) for water well pipe must be used;
  8. If the following requirements are met DHEC may allow steel pipe casing that weighs less than "standard weight:"
    1. the casing must have a minimum wall thickness of 0.188 inches;
    2. the casing must meet the American National Standards Institute and ASTM (ANSI/ASTM) standards for water well casing;
  9. The well casing must be set into the formation so there is a watertight seal between the casing and the top of a consolidated formation;
  10. The well casing must be first set into the confining layer or to twenty feet, whichever is greater, when set in unconsolidated materials;
  11. The casing must extend at least 1 foot above the land surface at the time of construction. If an above ground pump is used, the casing may extend less than 1 foot above the land or below the land surface with a protective wellhead cover that allows access to the wellhead if the piping connecting the well casing to the pump is glued or threaded and is watertight;
  12. Thermoplastic casing is allowed if the following conditions are met;
    1. the casing must meet the requirements of American National Standards Institute/American Society of Testing and Materials, specification F480-77 for thermoplastic water well casing pipe and couplings made in standard dimension ratios (SDR);
    2. it has a minimum wall thickness and tolerances to meet or exceed requirements for SDR 26 thermoplastic water well casing pipe and couplings made in standard dimension ratios;
    3. it has a wall thickness and tolerances to meet or exceed the Schedule 40 requirements for thermoplastic water well casing pipe for nominal sizes three inches or smaller; and,
    4. it can be installed without interference from formational material or other objects that may cause physical damage to the casing during emplacement.

Screens

  1. If the well is constructed to obtain water from an unconsolidated formation, it must have a screen that will prevent formation material from entering into the well after the well is developed and completed;
  2. The screen must meet the American Society for Testing and Materials standards
  3. The screen must be made of materials meeting the National Sanitation Foundation standards and must be of a sufficient strength to withstand chemical or physical forces applied to it during and after installation;
  4. Thermoplastic screens must meet the following standards as well:
    1. The thermoplastic screens wall thickness must meet or exceed schedule 40 requirements for thermoplastic water well casing pipes 3 inches or smaller;
    2. If the nominal size is greater than 3 inches the thermoplastic screen wall thickness must meet or exceed the requirements for SDR 26 thermoplastic water well casing for that size;
    3. Such thermoplastic screens must be installed in wells without interference from formation material or other objects that may cause physical damage and do not exceed manufacturers recommendations for depth placement;
    4. Multi-screened wells cannot connect aquifers or zones with documented differences:
      1. in water quality that would result in contamination of any aquifer or zone so that any State Primary Drinking Water Standard would be violated;
      2. in static water levels resulting in the depletion of water from any aquifer or zone, or significant loss of head in any aquifer or zone.

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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