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Responsibilities of the Project Applicant for Approval of a New Well Source

New Source Approval: New Well or Existing Well with Documentation of Grouted Well Casing

Below is a list of important steps and information that the project applicant will need to take in order to get their new source approved. Details provided below are intended when the project applicant proposes use of a well source under one of the following two scenarios: (1) a well is drilled immediately prior to submission of the noncommunity water system application package or (2) a well with documentation that the it is cased and grouted is being proposed.

What steps do I (the project applicant) need to take in order to get my new well or existing well with documentation that the well is cased and grouted approved by DEP, and in what order?

  • Contact the appropriate DEP Regional/District Safe Drinking Water Program Office prior to initiating any work related to approval of a new source. This applies to projects where the well has not been drilled yet and for those projects where a well with documentation that it is cased and grouted is proposed.
  • Contract a Pennsylvania-Licensed well driller from the list provided on the Pennsylvania Geological Survey’s website:
    • Inform the well driller that the project is for a noncommunity public water system and requires DEP approval.
    • Inform the well driller that DEP forms (Module 1) need to be completed to document well-drilling activities and demonstrate characteristics of the well source.
    • Inform the well driller that once the project is completed to provide you with a copy of the Water Well Completion Report that is submitted to the Pennsylvania Geological Survey and the completed DEP forms (Module 1).
  • For wells with a Water Well Completion Report or well log created by the well driller documenting that the well is cased and grouted, the project applicant should request the well driller who constructed the well to compete the Well Construction Demonstration Datasheet for New Wells Form and the Well Risk Assessment Form. Both forms are part of the Module 1.
  • Make sure that you and/or your contracted well driller notify DEP when the well is scheduled to be drilled. Ideally, two-weeks advance notification is best.
  • After the well is drilled, constructed, and developed, request the well driller (or other competent individual) to conduct a pumping test in accordance with the instructions provided in the Pumping Test Demonstration Datasheets which are part of Module 1. Prior to the pumping test, coordinate with a DEP-accredited laboratory regarding water-quality samples collected during the pumping test. Samples must be collected in laboratory-issued bottleware by the well driller, the laboratory, or other individuals determined by the project applicant.
  • Request the well driller to provide you with completed copies of the Well Construction Demonstration Datasheet for New Wells, the Pumping Test Demonstration Datasheets, and the Well Risk Assessment Form.
  • Provide a completed version of Module 1 and the laboratory report of the water-quality samples with the application package that is submitted to DEP.

How can I find a Pennsylvania-Licensed well driller to drill and construct my well?

The Pennsylvania Geological Survey maintains a listing of licensed well drillers in Pennsylvania that is sortable by county and contractor services.

How can I find out if my existing well has a Water Well Completion Report or other documentation of the well construction details?

There are two ways to determine if well-construction details for an existing well are available: (1) Contact the Pennsylvania Geological Survey and ask if they have a Water Well Completion Report for the existing well on your property and (2) Contact the well driller who originally constructed the well and ask if the driller has a well record on file.

Where can I find technical guidance on how to get my new source approved?

Technical guidance on new source requirements at a noncommunity water system can be found in the following DEP publications:

Public Water Supply Manual, Part IV, Noncommunity System Design Standards, DEP ID: 383-2128-108

Noncommunity Water System Application Module 1 – Groundwater Source, DEP ID: 3940-FM-BSDW0568a

New Source Approval: Existing Well in Absence of Documentation of Grouted Well Casing

A new source in the form of a well in absence of documentation that it is cased and grouted may be proposed by the project applicant for use at a noncommunity public water system. A submission of this nature will require the source be carefully inspected by a Pennsylvania-Licensed geologist to determine if the well is cased and grouted. It is important to note, determining if a well is grouted is a difficult proposition, where the downhole tools needed to assess the well are expensive and my yield inconclusive results that would not equate to approval of the source. As a result, it is strongly advised that the project applicant conduct a rigorous cost comparison analysis between assessing the well for grout versus drilling a new well. For these situations, it is often best to drill a new well.

What steps do I (the project applicant) need to take and in what order?

  • Contact the appropriate DEP Regional/District Safe Drinking Water Program Office prior to initiating any work related to approval of a new source.
  • Contract with a Pennsylvania-Licensed geologist and inform them you’d like to have your well evaluated for well-construction characteristics.
  • Provide your geologist with a copy of Module 1 and request they complete the Well Construction Demonstration Datasheet for Existing Wells and the Well Risk Assessment Form.
  • Make sure that you and/or your contracted geologist notify DEP when the well is scheduled to be field inspected.
  • Request your geologist or other competent individual (e.g., a licensed well driller) to conduct a pumping test in accordance with the instructions provided on the Pumping Test Demonstration Datasheets of Module 1. Prior to the pumping test, coordinate with a DEP-accredited laboratory regarding water-quality samples collected during the test. Samples must be collected in laboratory-issued bottleware by the geologist, well driller, laboratory staff, or other individual determined by the project applicant.
  • Request all contractors provide you with completed copies of the Well Construction Demonstration Datasheet for Existing Wells, the Pumping Test Demonstration Datasheets, and the Well Risk Assessment Form.
  • Provide a completed version of Module 1 and the laboratory report of the water-quality samples with the application package that is submitted to DEP.

Where can I find technical guidance on how to get my new source approved?

Technical guidance on new source approvals at a noncommunity water system can be found in the following DEP publications:

Public Water Supply Manual, Part IV, Noncommunity System Design Standards, DEP ID: 383-2128-108

Noncommunity Water System Application Module 1 – Groundwater Source, DEP ID: 3940-FM-BSDW0568a