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Water Resources

Wells – licensing, construction and reporting

11/09/2016 - A new Washington Supreme Court case impacts permit-exempt well use statewide. Updates to these web pages are currently underway. For more information,
see:
Understanding the Whatcom County vs. Hirst, Futurewise, et al. decision

In partnership with delegated counties, Ecology protects and assists consumers, well drillers and the environment by:

  • Providing access to notice of intent, well logs and driller information.
  • Licensing and regulating the well-drilling community.
  • Investigating complaints from well owners.
  • Approving variances from construction standards.
  • Providing continuing education to well drillers.

Washington State Well Log Viewer - search for wells and view available well log reports

Water availability for wells

Many basins do not have enough water for new wells and may be closed to further withdrawal of groundwater. A closure in your area may prohibit withdrawal even from permit-exempt wells.

You must determine whether the basin where you intend to withdraw water is open to withdrawals. More information can be found by reading the water availability focus sheets.

Submit a Notice of Intent before you drill

Before drilling a well, you must submit a notice of intent (NOI) to the Department of Ecology.  This document needs to be submitted to Ecology 72 hours before the well is drilled.

An NOI is not a permit, certificate or application for a water right nor does it represent approval or permission to use water from the well. Once your well is drilled, water may only be withdrawn if it is legally available. The well also needs to be put to beneficial use to establish a ‘right’ to use the water.

Send Ecology a well report (well log)

A well report (well log) is a detailed record of the geological formation during the drilling of a well. The report (well log) also contains the location, owner name, driller name and well water production. This document is required to be submitted to us 30 days after the well is completed.

Well reports are mailed to the nearest Ecology regional office servicing that particular county.

Resource protection wells are drilled for monitoring and sampling. Most of these wells are temporary. The reports document the construction and location of the wells. Resource protection well reports can be submitted electronically using the Well Report Gateway.

Decommissioning abandoned wells

Washington state law requires property owners to properly decommission (or close down) wells that are no longer usable. See Decommissioning of abandoned wells for more information.

  • Delegated county contacts list - this list includes local health districts or counties that have delegated authority from Ecology for well sealing and decommissioning.

Resources for property owners

Resources for well drillers

Additional resources

Laws and rules

Contacts

Headquarters (Lacey)
Scott Malone
360-407-6648
Well Construction, Technical Advisory Group (TAG), Laws, Regulations, Licensing, Continuing education and Legislative Activities
Headquarters (Lacey)
Tara Roberts
360-407-7122
FAX  360-407-7162
Well Construction and Licensing System, Well License Testing, Notice of Intent
 
Northwest Region
Counties: Island, King, Kitsap, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom
Noel Philip
425-649-7044
Well Construction
Arlene Harris
425-649-7020
Well Report Tracking
Southwest Region
Counties: Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston and Wahkiakum
John Pearch
360-407-0297
Well Construction
Opal Smitherman

360-407-6859
Well Report Tracking
 
Central Region
Counties: Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan and Yakima
Avery Richardson
509-575-2639
Well Construction
Erin Gutierrez
509-454-7206
Well Report Tracking
Eastern Region
Counties: Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla and Whitman
Mark Ader
509-329-3544
Well Construction
Anita Waterman
509-329-3541
Well Report Assistance
Hanford
Jeff Ayres
509-372-7881
Well Construction
Well Report Tracking
Spotlight

Drinking Water

“Abandoned Wells: A Hidden Danger”

The Private Well Class - a free online service, grant-funded to educate homeowners about their private wells.

Notice of Intent Forms - link to the Notice of Intent Form to Construct a Water Well

Well Drilling Notice of Intent (NOI) RSS Feed

Geothermal Heat Pumps - ORA

Decommissioning of Abandoned Wells

WATER RESOURCES EXPLORER (WEB MAP)
Water right information accessed online

WELL CONSTRUCTION AND LICENSING SYSTEM

Search for a Notice of Intent to Construct or Decommission a well, Washington State licensed well operators and drilling companies

Annual Reports -Delegated County Activities

U.S. EPA NOTICE TO WELL DRILLERS

Lakewood/Ponders Corner Superfund Site March 2008

WATER WELLS IN WASHINGTON 1940 to 2010

State maps showing drilled wells on record with Ecology in 10 year intervals

The Ground Water Permit Exemption