Buying a home with a VA loan is no more difficult than purchasing a home using a conventional loan. However, the process does differ slightly from that of a traditional mortgage. One of the main differences is that the property for sale must pass a VA inspection. This includes meeting VA home loan water test requirements.
What are VA Water Test Requirements for Home Loans?
When you buy a home with a VA loan, you must have a VA inspection. An inspector will visit the home and assess whether it meets VA minimum property requirements and is safe to inhabit. One of these requirements is that the home has access to safe, clean water.
If the house is connected to a community or public water supply, this process is straightforward. Water test results can be obtained from the local health authority office. This process is quick and requires minimal effort.
If the water comes from a private well, shared well, or cistern, the process can be a little bit more complicated. But don’t worry! It’s still not a big deal so long as the water tests are safe and meet certain criteria.
What Do Water Tests Check for?
The VA does not have any set requirements for water tests. In other words, there are no specific contaminants they’re looking for. Rather, water tests ensure that the water supply meets local health requirements. Requirements vary based on the location of the home. Generally speaking, these tests look for nitrates, nitrites, coliform, and lead.
In the absence of a local health authority, the test sample will need to meet either state requirements or standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Water Tests for Private Wells
Water from a private well will need to pass a water test conducted by a local health authority or independent third party. Commercial labs can also test private well water. Neither the borrower nor anyone else connected to the VA home loan can perform the test. Tests are valid for 90 days from the certification date.
Water Requirements for Shared Wells & Cisterns
If the water supply comes from a shared well, it will need to meet additional requirements beyond a water test. The well must be able to support each property with safe water simultaneously. Additionally, there must be a permanent easement that allows access for repairs and a formal well-sharing agreement.
If the water comes from a spring or cistern, it only needs to pass a water test.
In either of these cases, the VA may require you to sign a “hold harmless” agreement before they will approve your VA home loan.
If you have questions about VA home loan requirements or would like more information on VA water tests, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We will be more than happy to assist you.