Private Water Systems

waterglassIn 1983, the Board of Health adopted regulations to protect drinking water safety and improve construction standards. This inspection and enforcement program was established under the Ohio Private Water System Rules.

What is a Private Water System?
A Private Water System means any water system, other than a Public Water System regulated by the Ohio EPA, used for the provision of water for human consumption. “Human consumption” means the ingestion or absorption of water or water vapor as the result of drinking, cooking, dishwashing, hand washing, bathing, showering, oral hygiene, or other domestic uses such as flushing toilets and doing laundry.A Private Water System may use as a water source, a well, a spring, a cistern, a pond or a hauled water tank. The regulations specify the design and construction of both the water source and any pumping or treatment systems needed to deliver safe water.

Department Services

  • Permits – The department regulates the construction of water systems through a permit and inspection program. The Water Rules state “No person shall construct, alter or seal a private water system, test well or part thereof, unless a valid permit for the system has been issued by the board of health pursuant to this rule.”
  • Consultations – The department provides free consultations to residents concerned about their water supply.
  • Record Requests – The department maintains records on many existing systems.
  • Bacteria and Parameter TestingWater Sample Request/ Realty Request Form – The department provides bacterial testing of a new or altered water system and testing for daycare facilities, realty inspections and foster care. 
  • Additional Chemical Testing – Our office can collect samples for additional chemical testing on Wednesday afternoons. If you would like to take and submit samples on your own, contact one of the labs below for more information.
    Brookside Lab Inc

    308 South Main Street

    New Knoxville, OH 45871

    (419) 753-2448


    1101 North Cole Street

    Lima, OH 45805

    (419) 227-3792

    Jones & Henry Laboratories

    2567 Tracy Road

    Northwood, OH 43619

    (419) 666-0411

     Heidelberg University

    310 East Market Street

    Tiffin, OH 44883

    (419) 448-2198

To ask a questions, apply for a permit, request a test or record, contact the environmental health division at 419-784-3818.

Water Plan Forms

Registration Requirement – Private Water System Contractors are registered through the Ohio Department of Health. Only registered contractors may construct, alter, or seal private water systems, drill water wells, and install pitless adapters.

  • Find a Private Water System Contractor
  • Water System Requirements
  • Property Owner Registration – Property owners who wish to do work on their property must register with the Ohio Department of Health. Contact Defiance County Public Health for more information on this requirement.

Private Water System Contractor Forms

Financial Options for Constructing and Maintaining a Well Water System