FHA Requirements For Distances For Properties With Well & Septic Systems

Mortgage and Lending with George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages NMLS #65149

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  gsouto@mccuemortgage.com, or visit my McCue Mortgage Homepage.

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 Info about the author:

George Souto NMLS# 65149 is a Loan Originator who is licensed in #CT, #RI, #MA, #NH, & a #FL Licensed Lender who can assist you with all your #FHA, #Conventional, #VA, #USDA, and #State Bonded Progam #mortgage needs in #CT, #RI, #MA, #NH, & #FL. George resides in Middlesex County which includes #Middletown, #Old Saybrook, #Middlefield, #Durham, #Cromwell, #Portland, #Higganum, #Haddam, #East Haddam, #Moodus, #Chester, #Deep River, and #Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or souto@snet.net

Comments (9)

Amy Shair
Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty - Duke University, NC
Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years

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.

Sep 18, 2011 02:06 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

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.


Sep 18, 2011 02:38 PM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

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.

Sep 18, 2011 04:10 PM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Broker/Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

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.

Sep 19, 2011 12:36 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

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

Sep 19, 2011 03:20 PM
Karen Bernetti
Southington, CT

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.  

Sep 20, 2011 12:48 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Wow, that's September 2011 post George Souto - still as good, I believe, as far as FHA requirements are concerned for Well/Septic.

Aug 07, 2015 03:01 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, George. 

9 years since you posted this, but today  I have this very same question.  I asked it on the AR Question Board.

  Is the information in your post above still valid?  Or has FHA changed the requirements?


Apr 13, 2020 07:53 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Fred, these FHA Guidelines were created back during the time of Moses and were carved in stone.  They are still the same 

Apr 13, 2020 12:04 PM