Wells – licensing, construction and reporting
An October 2016 Washington State Supreme Court case impacts permit-exempt well use, which may affect some of the information provided on this page.
In partnership with delegated counties, Ecology protects and assists consumers, well drillers and the environment by:
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 Once your well is drilled, water may only be withdrawn if it is legally available.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.
Resources for property owners
Resources for well drillers
Drinking Water - test your well
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
Geothermal Heat Pumps - ORA
WATER RESOURCES EXPLORER (WEB MAP)
WELL CONSTRUCTION AND LICENSING SYSTEM
Annual Reports -Delegated County Activities
U.S. EPA NOTICE TO WELL DRILLERS
WATER WELLS IN WASHINGTON 1940 to 2010
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