Explore and understand the details of water requirements for a VA loan. Learn how these regulations impact your eligibility and ensure a safe, sustainable home for Veterans.
VA loan water test requirements are in place to ensure the home meets VA Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs) and is safe for the Veteran to live in. VA MPRs stipulate that the water in the home, used for drinking, washing and other domestic purposes, must be safe for consumption.
The protocols involved differ depending on whether the water comes from a public supply or a private source such as a well or cistern. When the water is from a public supply, the process is often straightforward, as these sources are typically regulated by local or state authorities. Thus, little work is needed since they are presumed to be safe and reliable.
For properties that depend on a private well or cistern, the VA well water testing requirements become applicable. These are more detailed, requiring specific tests to confirm the water is free from harmful contaminants and is safe for consumption.
The specifics of these tests can vary but usually include checks for bacteria and certain chemicals. It's worth noting that the VA does not mandate properties to be connected to a public water supply to qualify for a VA loan. Therefore, homes serviced by private wells or cisterns can also be eligible, provided they meet the VA well water testing requirements.
When it comes to water testing, the VA doesn't look for any specific element per se. Their primary objective is to ensure the water supplied in the borrower's home complies with local guidelines. The fundamental principle here is to guarantee that the water is safe for all household uses, thereby protecting the health of the borrower and their family.
The water system in question should meet the requirements established by the local health authority. If there are no specific guidelines established at the local level, the standards set by the state health authorities are applied. In a scenario where no state requirements exist, the water system must then meet the criteria outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
VA appraisers will assess the water quality as part of looking for the MPRs in the appraisal of the property. The property’s water is checked within the overall evaluation of the property all at once.
These water testing guidelines are in place to ensure that the borrower's health and well-being are not jeopardized. It's an integral aspect of the VA's commitment to safeguarding borrowers, ensuring that they can enjoy their new homes without worrying about the quality of their water supply.
Homes that rely on a private well for water must follow specific VA well water testing requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that the water is free from harmful substances and is safe for consumption:
If you have a private well, you must:
It’s important to know the loan must close within this 90-day period for the test to be considered current. If the closing extends beyond this timeframe, a new water test may be required to meet the VA loan MPRs. These requirements are part of the VA's effort to uphold the quality of living standards for Veterans and their families.
In the case of a shared well, beyond passing the standard water test, it must also meet certain performance criteria. These additional tests are designed to confirm that the shared well has the capacity to adequately support all parties that rely on it. This ensures that all households using the well have a consistent and sufficient supply of water.
On the other hand, shared cisterns are subject only to the standard water test. They do not need to meet the additional capacity requirements applicable to shared wells. The primary concern is confirming the water quality and safety for all the households drawing from the cistern.
One common requirement in both cases is the potential necessity of a 'hold harmless' agreement. This is a legal document that the VA may require borrowers to sign, which essentially absolves the VA of any responsibility for potential risks associated with shared water sources.
By signing this agreement, borrowers acknowledge these risks and agree not to hold the VA accountable for any issues that may arise from using shared wells or cisterns.
Encountering a situation where the well or cistern water doesn't meet the VA's requirements can be a setback, but it's important to know that there are steps you can take to fix this.
If a water sample from a private well or cistern fails to pass the required water test, it indicates the presence of harmful contaminants that make the water unsafe for consumption. The immediate course of action in such scenarios is to treat the water source to eliminate or reduce these contaminants.
The specific treatment method may vary depending on the type and concentration of contaminants present. Treatment methods can include filtration, disinfection or the use of chemical treatments. In many cases, it might be necessary to engage the services of a professional water treatment company to ensure the treatment is effective and safe.
Once the water source has been treated, it must be tested again. The water test must show that the water is now safe for consumption before the property can meet the VA's water safety standards.
It's worth noting that this process of treating and retesting may need to be repeated until the water meets the required standards. It's an essential step in ensuring the health and safety of all those residing in the home.