VA Well Water Test Requirements for Buying a Home

Many families prefer to live in a suburban or rural areas.  Buying a home outside the city often means the water source comes from a private or community well.  Veterans, active military, or surviving spouses need to understand how VA looks at a well.  The Veteran’s Administration requires that a property meets minimum property standards.  These standards require that the property is connected to an adequate water supply.  Additionally, the water should be safe and drinkable.  So if the property has a well, then a VA well water test is required.

In order to determine the water is safe, VA uses the guidelines of the local health authority governing the area of the property.  In the absence of a local governing health authority, the guidelines of the EPA determine if the water is potable.  Potable basically means drinkable.  If a property’s water source comes from a community well, it must be tested as well.  Finally, properties with public water, such as county or city, are assumed safe.

VA well water test requirements
VA well water test requirements

 

How the VA Well Water Test Works

When it comes to a VA well water test, there are options.  Some labs or testing companies require they collect the water samples.  Conversely, other labs allow someone else to collect and supply the water sample.  Costs for these tests vary depending on the individual company, distance of travel (if applicable), and if it is a rush.

VA Well Water Test Requirements

If using a VA loan and there is a private well mentioned on the VA appraisal, then a well test is required.  The VA well water test looks for coliform and e-coli presence.  If other tests are provided and any fail, it would need to be corrected.  Then a new test with clean results must be provided.  For community wells, VA requires documentation from the county or company servicing the well.  The documentation must state they maintain the well, how often it is tested, and the last test results.

Consult with your mortgage lender on testing requirements to satisfy VA’s requirements for safe drinking water.  Keep in mind, lenders may have varying requirements.  Furthermore, your lender can also likely help you to find the most convenient and cost-efficient water testing facility.

If you are a buyer or Realtor on a VA purchase and you know the water source is a private or community well, mention this to your lender ASAP.  It is better to order the VA well water test early rather than at the end.

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Written By: Russell Smith

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