Before any VA loan can be approved, a VA appraisal must be carried out to ensure that the property meets the minimum property requirements (MPRs).
One of those property requirements is a safe and sanitary supply of water. Properties with a private well or a non-public water source can still meet the VA’s requirements, but the water must be tested for safety and purity.
In order to meet the VA’s well water requirements, the water source must meet local health guidelines for safe drinking water.
However, the general appraisal process or home inspection doesn’t typically cover a well water test. These tests must be carried out separately. In fact, not every property requires a water test, only those whose water sources are wells, cisterns or another non-public source.
During the VA appraisal process, a well water test is required to rule out coliform, lead, bacteria, nitrates and nitrites.
A VA well water or septic test will remain valid for 90 days after the local health authority has tested it. After that time, another test may be carried out to ensure it still meets the requirements.
For the loan to close, the VA lender must ensure this water test has been completed and that the water is safe. The cost of testing might come out of the buyer's pocket, though the seller could be asked to reimburse the expense. If the water test fails, the Veteran must take responsibility prior to closing on the loan to install a filtration system at their own cost.
Sometimes shared wells or cisterns supply water to more than one household. Cisterns are large, waterproof containers that are used as a primary water source for a property. They must meet the same requirements as wells and other non-public water sources. For properties that rely on a shared well or cistern, these additional requirements must be met before loan approval.
If tests deem the water quality to be unsafe, the water system must be fully treated and then pass an additional test. Once the water system passes the test, the loan can move forward.
To begin your VA home loan process, check your eligibility today.