Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System
Pennsylvania has more than a million domestic water wells, plus an unknown number of other types of water wells, boreholes, and springs.
Water well and spring data are available through the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System, which is maintained by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Geological Survey.
The Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System holds hundreds of thousands of water well records and more than 2,000 spring records, making it an important source of groundwater, water well, and spring data.
Searching for Data or a Driller
Data for a particular well or spring or for multiple wells or springs can be accessed through the bureau’s
Pennsylvania Geologic Data Exploration (PaGEODE) web application.
Searches can be based on specific criteria or geographic areas.
Details about the history of the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System and the data it contains are included in
A Guide to the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System -- An Official Source for Water Well and Spring Data (PDF).
If you are interested in finding a driller for your well, the bureau maintains a separate database of licensed drillers that can be accessed through the department’s
Licensed Water Well Drillers web page.
Water Well Data
Pennsylvania’s Water Well Drillers License Act of 1955 (Act 610 passed on May 29, 1956) began the statewide process of collecting groundwater data through the licensing of water well drillers.
Most of the well data in the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System are from completion reports submitted by the water well drillers, and more than 55,000 records of field-located wells came from a U.S. Geological Survey database.
Starting in the mid-1960s, drillers were sending paper water well completion reports to the bureau. In the 1980s, bureau staff were scanning reports and entering data into a digital database.
Since the 1990s, water well drillers have had the option to submit their records through online applications. The number of records submitted electronically has been growing proportionately ever since.
The details in water well records vary with each generation of data entry.
Some records have only the digital image of the paper report and basic data (owner, address, county, municipality, driller, and date drilled) entered.
The absence of coordinates means that map-based searches will not find such records unless you opt to “include unlocated wells within intersected municipalities.”
Many spring records were obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey database and Pennsylvania Geological Survey publications.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Geological Survey staff field checked some of those locations and continue to collect spring data to add to the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System.
If you have questions about the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System, contact the department’s
Bureau of Geological Survey at 717-702-2017.