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Water Resources

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:

  • Providing access to notice of intent (NOI), 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

Pay for your (NOI) online

To reduce the administrative burden on drilling companies, Ecology is now accepting online payments for NOI fees.

  • We collaborated with several drilling companies to develop the new payment process. Our secure EcoEPay online payment system meets all e-commerce standards and best practices.
  • NOI applicants can now submit your forms and pay your fees online. If you need to construct more wells than originally planned, you can pay for additional wells without submitting a change form.
  • There are no additional fees for using this system when payments are made using an electronic check or direct account withdrawal. Payments made with a credit or debit card will be charged an additional 2.5% fee.

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 Once your well is drilled, water may only be withdrawn if it is legally available.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


Headquarters (Lacey)
Scott Malone
Well Construction, Technical Advisory Group (TAG), Laws, Regulations, Licensing, Continuing education and Legislative Activities
Headquarters (Lacey)
Tara Roberts
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
Well Construction
Arlene Harris
Well Report Tracking
Southwest Region
Counties: Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston and Wahkiakum
John Pearch
Well Construction
Opal Smitherman

Well Report Tracking
Central Region
Counties: Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan and Yakima
Avery Richardson
Well Construction
Erin Gutierrez
Well Report Tracking
Eastern Region
Counties: Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla and Whitman
Mark Ader
Well Construction
Anita Waterman
Well Report Assistance
Jeff Ayres
Well Construction
Well Report Tracking

Drinking Water - test your well

“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 right information accessed online


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


Lakewood/Ponders Corner Superfund Site March 2008


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

The Ground Water Permit Exemption