Environmental Health - Non-Public Wells Program
Guidance on Installation,
Maintenance, Sampling, and Abandonment
Wells must be installed by a licensed water well
contractor. By using a licensed water well contractor, you can ensure that they
meet basic criteria listed below. In addition, prior to actual construction, the
water well contractor must notify the county health department of the intent to
drill a water well, providing such information as is required on forms prepared
by the Water Well Council.
- Have two years' experience working in the water well construction
business under a licensed water well contractor
- Pass an examination relating to the applicant's knowledge of
basic ground water, basic well construction, and the general contents of
The Environmental Protection Division provides a
of licensed well drillers.
Licensed well drillers are required to provide a
performance bon or letter of credit to ensure proper drilling operations and
compliance with the procedures and standards in the Well Water Standards Act. If
your well has been installed in the past year and does not meet the construction
and location requirements of these regulations, the bonding program is in place
through the Environmental Protection Division,
Watershed Protection Branch.
The well should be located as far removed from known or
potential sources of pollutants as the general layout of the premises and
surroundings permits. The well must not be located in areas subject to flooding
unless the well casing extends at least two feet above the level of the highest
known flood of record.
Wellhead protection measures:
- Maintain the area around the well to be clean and
- Do not store any chemicals, gasoline, or fertilizer
within 50 feet of the well.
- Divert surface water away from the well. Install a
water tight curbing, sloping away from the casing that is sufficient to
- Protected the upper terminal of the well by a sanitary
seal or cover to prevent entrance of pollutants to the well.
The following horizontal distances are required under DNR’s
Water Well Standards Act:· Not less than ten (10) feet from a sewer line
· Not less than 50 feet from a septic tank
· Not less than 100 feet from a septic tank absorption field
· Not less than 150 feet from a cesspool or seepage pit
· Not less than 100 feet from an animal or fowl enclosure.
It is recommended that a bacterial test (total/fecal
coliform) of well water is done every 6 months. This testing may be available
through County Environmental Health Offices. It is also recommended that a
chemical screening (W33
analysis) of well water is done every 3 years. This test may be available
through UGA Extension Offices.
Proper Abandonment of Wells:
Any existing abandoned well or borehole shall be filled,
sealed, and plugged by the present owner. An abandoned well is one that is no
longer in use. Generally, “temporarily abandoned” means those wells unused for a
minimum of 365 days, and “permanently abandoned” are those wells unused for
For more information, review the following PDFs and links.
Hazards Program - Water Well Brochure
Safe Water Website (EPA)
Wellhead Protection Information (UGA)
Water Well Abandonment