Water Well Drillers Licensing Program
Water well drilling companies that intend to construct a water well in Pennsylvania must first secure a water well drillers license and drilling rig permits. This is not applicable to any farmers or homeowners who drill their own water wells on their own land or leased land.
Pennsylvania has construction standards for public water-supply wells but not for private water wells. The protection and maintenance of a private well is basically the responsibility of the homeowner.
Drillers renew licenses and enter well construction information through an online tool called WebDriller.
Getting a Water Well Drillers License
To obtain a driller’s license for the first time, contact the DCNR Bureau of Geological Survey at 717-702-2017. You will be assigned a four-digit license number that will serve as your log-in name for WebDriller.
The license year runs from June 1 to May 31 of the following year, and license renewals should be made online through WebDriller. The cost for a license is $60 each year, and rig permits are $20 each.
Water Well Completion Reports
Drillers are required by law to submit information about the construction details of the water well to the state and to provide the same construction information to the well owner.
Drillers can fill out required completion reports for the Bureau of Geological Survey on WebDriller. By entering data directly into the system, drillers speed up the process of sharing that information with the public. The data can then be used to better protect groundwater resources.
Entering Accurate Records
An accurate completion report of a water well provides a written record about the well that will long survive the memory of the driller or well owner. The report may ultimately be used to make important decisions about the well.
The completion report should indicate the following:
An accurate location of the well
Complete construction information
As much detail as possible about the different rocks encountered during drilling
Groundwater information such as yield, water-bearing zones, and water levels
The Pennsylvania Geological Survey provides a Guide to Logging Wells (PDF) that drillers may find helpful. A log of a well describes the materials penetrated during drilling.
Knowledge of the possible rock types in the area to be drilled can be helpful when planning and drilling a well. Drillers can use county rock-type maps to see the general locations and get descriptions of rock types they might encounter.
The county rock type maps are only a regional guide. Drill cuttings may vary from what is expected and should be described in the completion report as they look.
Using the WebDriller System
Drillers can submit, edit, and print water well completion reports
Drillers can manage their license, including the addition of rig permits or renewals
Drillers can edit their service profile and make changes to their accounts
WebDriller provides error checking during the validation process
A report can be edited or printed after it is saved or validated (see next step)
The final “print for owner” completes the submittal process (no more changes)
As required by Act 610, a printed copy must be provided to the well owner
All records submitted by water well drillers are entered into the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System (PaGWIS). The PaGWIS database of groundwater wells is available to the public.