Water Well Contractor Program
Registration - The NYS Water Well Driller Registration Law, as amended by the NYS Legislature in July 1999, requires any business conducting "water well drilling activities" to register annually with NYSDEC before doing business anywhere within the State of New York. (See ECL § 15-1525). Prior to amendment, the law required registration for well drilling activities only within 4 counties of NY (Nassau, Suffolk, Kings and Queens).
Certification Exams - NYS law requires, as of January 1, 2003, on-site supervision of "water well drilling activities" by an exam certified individual.
In 2006 the law was clarified regarding the requirement for pump installers to obtain certification. For more information please see Water Well Contractor Certification Exam Requirement.
Pre-notification - NYS law requires that the Department of Environmental Conservation be notified prior to commencement of drilling a water well within the State of New York.
Completion Report - NYS law requires a well completion report be filed with the Department of Environmental Conservation upon completion of a water well. A copy of this report must also to be provided to the owner of the well.
Enhanced pumping tests must be conducted for wells with yields of 100,000 gallons per day or more. Please review the required procedures before planning the test.
Standards for Water Wells
Requirements for water well standards are determined by the NYS Department of Health. Appendix 5-B, Standards for Water Wells (link leaves DEC website) contains specifications for location, construction, well yield, pumps, separation standards, abandonment and more.
New York State Environmental Conservation Law ECL §15-1525 requires the following:
- Water well drillers and pump contractors must be registered with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
- After a well is drilled, contractors must provide a DEC well completion report to the well owner.
- At least one certified individual must be on site during well construction, pump installation or repair to either.
- Water wells must be constructed in accordance with NYS Department of Health rules and regulations (link leaves DEC website).
- Water well drillers and pump contractors are subject to General Business Law 36-A which regulates home improvements.
- The NYS Health Department has Fact Sheets on Protection of Water Wells (link leaves DEC website).
For more information, please view or download the DEC Consumer Protection Guide (PDF) (241 KB) for drilling or repairing a well.
Registered Water Well Contractors
A list of DEC registered contractors is available online.
Technical Information For Consumers
The National Groundwater Association has useful information on many topics related to owning a well (link leaves DEC's website). Topics include well construction and well system components, drilling methods, maintenance and cleaning, water quality and quantity, treatment, and more.
Water Well Data
Water Well Data from the NYS Geographic Information System (GIS) Clearinghouse may be viewed on a map showing records of water wells in New York State. Please see the link at the right margin of this page under "Links Leaving DEC's Website". Additionally you may view DEC records of water wells in Google Earth (Note: upon clicking this link, look at the top-most position of the webpage for the "Water Wells" dataset).
More about Water Well Contractor Program:
- DEC Water Well Program Information Search Wizard - This search wizard was developed to inform and assist anyone needing water well services, and also provide basic water well information to meet local needs while respecting privacy concerns.
- How to Register as a NYS Water Well Contractor - NYS Water Well Driller Registration, required by law (ECL 15-1525)
- NYS Water Well Driller Registration Law (ECL 15-1525) - NYS Water Well Driller Registration....Environmental Conservation Law § 15-1525.
- Water Well Contractor Certification Exam Requirement - Exam information for the Water Well Contractor Licensing Exam
- Pre-Notification Requirements For Registered Water Well Contractors - NYS Water Well Driller Pre-notification. By law, drillers must file this form with DEC prior to starting a drilling job.
- NYS Water Well Completion Report - New York State DEC Water Well Completion Report. By law, this report must be filled out by the well driller.
- Regulation of Geothermal Wells - Information regarding the requirements for geothermal well drillers and system installers.
- Water Well Definitions (ECL § 15-1502) - Definitions used for NYS Water Well Driller Registration ... Environmental Conservation Law § 15-1502
- General Business Law 36-A Home Improvement - General Business Law 36A Home Improvement
- Provisions Of Enforcement For ECL § 15-1525 - NYS Water Well Driller Registration provisions of enforcement (§ 71-1115)for Environmental Conservation Law ECL 15-1525.