George's Blog


FHA Requirements For Distances For Properties With Well & Septic Systems

A question that I get often is what are the FHA requirements for distances for properties with well & septic systems?  FHA is clear on their guidelines for distances for properties that have a well & septic system, but FHA also will make exceptions to their guidelines in certain circumstances if the distances are within the local and State requirements.

For example FHA guidelines require that a well be: 

  •  A minimum of 50 feet from a septic tank
  • A minimum of 100 feet from the drain/leach fields
  • A minimum of 10 feet from any property line

But should State or local regulation allow for distances that are less than the FHA guidelines the property may be considered for an exception.  In order to obtain the exception the Lender must provide evidence that the property is in compliance with the State and local distance requirements and meets the following conditions: 

  • The State and local distances are not less than 75 feet between the well and drain/leach fields
  • The well is not within 10 feet of a roadway
  • The well is not within 10 feet of another single-family residential property
  • The well is not within 10 feet of a commercial, industrial, or multifamily building

Acceptable evidence to obtain an exception to the FHA well & septic system distance requirements are:

An appraisal clearly showing the location of the well and septic system on a site sketch showing the distances between the two.

  • The Underwriter obtains from a qualified party (well or septic company for example) satisfactory evidence that the distance requirements between the two systems, and between the well and property lines have been met.

These guidelines are clear, but they still tend to create confusion especially with older properties before local Health Department guidelines were in place.  I hope the information above at least provides a bases of basic understanding of what will have to be provided and met on properties that have a well and septic system, and FHA financing is being sought.



Who To Call For Your Mortgage Needs In Connecticut:

George Souto NMLS# 65149 is a Loan Officer who can assist you with all your FHA, CHFA, and Conventional mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Higganum, Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308, or visit my McCue Mortgage Homepage.

Comment balloon 6 commentsGeorge Souto • September 18 2011 08:40PM


Interesting information George. I haven't run across that problem before. Most of our properties on well and septic are over 1/2 acre and can easily meet all of those requirements. Thanks for sharing so now I know the exact FHA rules regarding this.

Posted by Amy Shair, Award Winning Agent 20+ Years (Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - RE/MAX United - Search Durham Homes) almost 4 years ago

Good to know, George. I don't run into this issue in my area, but did back in New England with selling a couple of our own homes. And the state and local requirements can interfere with these inspections as well - we had a well that was too close to the septic and although the water tested fine, because of the proximity to the septic a new well had to be dug. I won't get into the hassles around that one.


Posted by Jeff Dowler CRS, Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360 (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 4 years ago

George, have had to look these up more than once.. I look them up and then forget so have to do it again.  Great info for everyone.

Posted by Judi K Barrett, Broker/Owner, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDAB (Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma) almost 4 years ago

George, actually I do run into this issue from time to time.  Looking at those minimum distance requirements...I don't think I'd be comfortable with those small limits as a home owner.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Huntsville AL) almost 4 years ago

George, I dealt with a bank ;last year where the underwriter actually came back in writing and requested that the sellers, (my clients), provide a 125 foot distance between the well and septic. This on a house built in the mid 1950's, as if they are easy things to accommodate

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754) almost 4 years ago

George - This is great information to share.  It boggles my brain how you can keep up with all this stuff!  I mentioned you in my blog today - be sure to check it out.  

Posted by Karen Bernetti (Staging4Smooth Transitions Connecticut Home Staging) almost 4 years ago

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