Environmental Health Specialist (Formerly Sanitarian)

Information and Services provided by Environmental Health

Private Water Wells

Hancock Public Health Services, through the Grants-to-Counties program, provides free residential water well testing services to anyone who owns or utilizes a private water supply.

This service includes:

  • A well assessment
  • Sample collection from a location where most of the residential drinking water is obtained (usually the kitchen sink)
  • Sample submission to University Hygienic Laboratory
  • Results sent to the home

Residential water wells are sampled for nitrates and coliform bacteria.

Public Health provides approximately 150 free well tests per year on a first come, first serve basis. If you would like to have your water sampled, please contact Hancock Public Health Services.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources: Consumer Information Booklet (.pdf)

Shock-Chlorinating Small Water Systems: Consumer Information Pages (.pdf)

University Hygienic Laboratory website: http://www.shl.uiowa.edu/services/wellwater

EPA drinking water website: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwh/index.html


Nonpublic Water Well Construction

Environmental Health inspectors evaluate and inspect the construction of any nonpublic water supplies within Hancock County. This serves to protect your drinking water with appropriate construction and location of water wells. All nonpublic water well Permits must be in accordance to Chapter 38 of the Iowa Administrative Code, and all Nonpublic water wells must be constructed in accordance to Chapter 49 of the Iowa Administrative Code.  A permit is required for all new Nonpublic wells drilled within county limits.

Permit cost for a new well is $175.00

Well Permit Application (.pdf)

Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 38 (.pdf)

Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 49 (.pdf)

Well Consumer Information Booklet (.pdf)

Good Wells for safe water (.pdf)


Private Water Well Reconstruction:

Wells which are located in a frost pit are more susceptible to contamination than wells that terminate above ground. Therefore Hancock Public Health Services, through the Grants-to-Counties program, provides up to $600.00 for the reconstruction of nonpublic water wells. Reconstruction according to Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 49 is defined as follows: “modification of the original construction of a well. “Well reconstruction” includes, but is not limited to, deepening the well, installing a liner, installing or replacing a screen with one of a different diameter or length, installing a pitless adapter, extending the casing, or hydrofracturing a well. Replacing a screen with one of identical diameter and length or replacing a pitless adapter is considered repair, not reconstruction”. To qualify for reimbursement you must first contact the Hancock County Environmental Health Specialist and you must also have the work completed by a certified well driller and a certified pump installer.

Private well reconstruction application (.pdf)

Iowa DNR certified well contractors and certified well drillers: http://www.iowadnr.gov/water/opcert.html


Abandoned Well Plugging

Abandoned water wells and cisterns provide a direct route for contaminants to reach our groundwater and are required by the State of Iowa to be properly plugged according to the specifications listed in Chapter 39 of the Iowa Administrative Code to prevent groundwater contamination. Hancock County, through the Grants-To-Counties program, provides up to $300.00 for the plugging of abandoned water wells and cisterns. State certified Well drillers, pump installers, and well plugging contractors are all certified to perform this service. In addition the land-owner, under the supervision of the County Environmental Health Specialist can also plug their own abandoned well.  To receive your money for plugging your abandoned well first contact the Hancock County Environmental Health Specialist and then have the contractor submit the well plugging form and invoice to Hancock Public Health Services.

Abandoned well plugging application (.pdf)

Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 39 (.pdf)

How to successfully plug our abandoned well (.pdf)




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