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Start-up Procedures for Seasonal Systems

Date: May 25, 2021

Seasonal public water systems that are not exempt, must perform start-up procedures before opening and certify to NHDES that procedures have been completed per Env-Dw 506, Seasonal Public Water Systems. Start-up procedures include inspecting the sanitary protective area (SPA) and all components of the distribution system, correcting any open sanitary defects, and disinfecting and flushing all distribution lines.


  1. Wellhead cap/cover – Must be secure, seals intact and have a screened vent.
  2. SPA – Ensure at least 75 to 200 feet around the well is maintained clear of fuels, septic system components, animal manure, fertilizers, etc.
  3. Pump house – Maintain proper sanitary and safety conditions, keep locked, no water leaks or exposed electrical wires.
  4. Treatment facilities – Verify whether fully operational, with proper chemical storage and air gap on backwash discharge.
  5. Storage tank – Check tank integrity, ensure hatch is sealed, and vent and overflow are screened.
  6. Distribution piping, valves and service lines – Reconnect all the plumbing and pressurize the system. Exercise valves and blow-offs. Repair leaks.
  7. Dump station cross connection control – Testable Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) or sustained air gap must be in place.
  8. Sample locations – Should be clean, labeled, accessible, 12 inches above floor.

Disinfection: Follow the instructions in fact sheet DWGB-4-11 Disinfecting a Drinking Water Well.

Monitoring: Collection of general system evaluation bacteria samples after disinfection and prior to monthly bacteria testing is recommended.

The start-up certification form must be submitted to NHDES within 30 days after starting up for the season. Failure to complete start-up procedures or submit certification will result in a Notice of Violation and a requirement for public notice. A start-up checklist is available, along with the certification form, on NHDES OneStop or at the Public Water Systems Monitoring pages. For more information or to determine whether your seasonal public water system is exempt, please contact Kaitlin Curtis at (603) 271-0893 or

Changes due to COVID-19: Please contact if you decide to delay startup of your seasonal water system, as these dates impact your sampling requirements.