FHA and VA Loan Water Testing

Although many professionals are unaware of it, the regulations governing the underwriting of government backed real estate purchase or refinance loans usually require that all well water samples be drawn and transported to the testing laboratories by trained and Certified Water Samplers. These samplers must be disinterested, 3rd party individuals with no financial interest in the outcome of the test.  ACCORDINGLY BUYERS, SELLERS, OR HOMEOWNERS REFINANCING VA, FHA, OR USDA LOANS, ARE NORMALLY NOT AUTHORIZED TO SAMPLE AND TRANSPORT WATER SAMPLES FOR MORTGAGE TRANSACTION TESTING. This restriction applies to Real Estate Brokers, Salespeople, Mortgage Brokers or Loan Officers and Title / Escrow company personnel. The reasoning is simple: Each of these individuals has a financial interest in the well’s positive certification, and therefore, the possibility of fraudulent sampling is a very real concern.

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires that a valid Chain of Custody form be included in the loan or sales documentation. The Chain of Custody is a legal document containing the name of the sampler, the location and time the sample was drawn, transfer time to the water laboratory, the time the sample is relinquished to the laboratory, and the name of the lab employee accepting the sample. These forms become permanent parts of the test record and must be maintained by the lab for 7 years in case they may someday be required as evidence in legal proceedings. If the above mentioned individuals draw and transport their own water samples, they may put themselves and their companies at risk . In addition, the testing results of any samples not drawn and transported by an authorized water sampler might be voided by the lender.

Therefore, prior to drawing any sample for a real estate transaction, please double check with your lender in advance to avoid the need to provide a duplicate sample. Whenever a lender will not accept water samples for a realty transactions unless they are drawn and transported to the laboratory by an approved, Certified Water Sampler, we suggest you contact Steven Seither, owner of Sierra Water Samplingapproved by W.E.T. Lab to draw test samples for all real estate transactions including FHA and VA loans. To arrange for this service, please contact Steve directly at (916) 717-9150.

Steven Seither is not an employee of W.E.T. Lab but is an independent contractor.