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Water Management

Wells

[ eNOI ] [ Definitions ] [ Well Drilling Guidance ] [ Well Information ]
[ Well Abandonment ] [ Well Forms ] [ Well Drillers/Licensing ]
[ Data & Statistics ] [ Contact Information ] [ Well Rules ]
[ Online Change of Well Ownership ]

 

 

 

Well Drilling in Arizona

Prior to drilling a new well, or deepening or modifying an existing well, a person must file a Notice of Intent to Drill with the Department. Forms are available on this site and must be submitted to the Department accompanied by the appropriate filing fee. Word Icon Authority to deepen an existing well or drill a new well will be valid for one year; after that a new Notice of Intent must be filed. A licensed well drilling contractor must perform the work. 

Drill Rig A typical drill rig like this may be seen when one is traveling along Arizona’s roadways.  To begin the process of drilling a well in Arizona, select a licensed well drilling contractor.

 

ADWR's Policy on Shared Wells

Click here Acrobat Icon PDFs to view ADWR's Policy on Shared Wells

 

eNOI: Online Filing Center for Notices of Intention to Drill Wells

Online filing of Notices of Intention to Drill Wells. This site may be used by licensed well drilling contractors to obtain online authorizations to drill certain types of wells.

 

Well Forms:  Well Permitting/Notice of Intent (NOI) Forms Acrobat Icon pdf

 

     Please CLICK HERE to link to Well Permitting/NOI Forms

     Please CLICK HERE to link to Change of Well Ownership and Change of Well Information Forms

 

Well Drilling Guidance

A Practical Guide to Drilling a Well in ArizonaAcrobat Icon pdf
ADWR regulates all groundwater wells in Arizona.  Well regulations are vital to the proper management and protection of our groundwater. Well construction standards help prevent contamination of your well and the surrounding groundwater.

A domestic well equipped to pump 35 gallons per minute or less may be constructed in many areas of Arizona to serve water for any uses related to the supply, service and activities of households and private residences.

Domestic well

Well Owner’s Guide Acrobat Icon pdf - This guide provides useful information and advice to prospective domestic well owners on their upcoming well construction projects.

If your well is designed to pump more than 35 gallons per minute and is within the boundaries of an Active Management Area (AMA), the request to drill is reviewed and authorized through that AMA.  Please refer to the well spacing and well impact rules.

The terms cadastral location refers to a method of locating land according to a rectangular coordinate system.  When reporting information, you may be asked to provide a cadastral location.  The following link offers assistance on How to enter a Cadastral location. Acrobat Icon pdf.

Statutes and Rules Acrobat Icon pdf Governing Minimum Well Construction Standards and the Licensing of Well Drillers.  State regulations and rules specific to well drilling and well driller licensing.

 

 

Well Information:  Locations/Mapping/Water Quality

Looking for a well registration number? Click here to use our application to find well registry owner information, associated water rights, and pumping data.

Imaged Records:  Click here to access the Department's Imaged Well Registry Files.

Understanding the Wells55 Index numbering system  Acrobat Icon pdf (Files that begin with the prefix ‘55’).

Water quality information can be obtained from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ) websiteOffsite

Monitor Well Monitor wells may be constructed as components of the remediation process to determine the characteristics of the formation containing the contaminants and/or depth to water; to allow access for water sampling; and to monitor movement of contaminant plumes.

 

 

Well Abandonment Acrobat Icon pdf

An abandoned well is discovered during the development process.  When abandoning a well, consideration of future land use is an important factor when deciding how deep to grade the soil before starting the 20’ surface seal.

Abandoned well

Well Drillers/Licensing

Well Drillers List
Complete drillers list can be searched by Company Name, Zip Code or Qualifying Party Name. 

AROCOffsite
To check a contractor’s license issued through the Arizona Registrar of Contractors,

eNOI Driller’s GuideAcrobat Icon pdf
This document outlines the detailed steps necessary to submit an NOI application and print out the required drill cards/packets over the Internet. 

Well Driller e-file (eNOI)
Online filing of Notices of Intention to Drill wells.  This site may be used by licensed well drillers to obtain online authorizations to drill certain types of wells.

Well Driller Licensing Exams are administered at ADWR six times per year, approximately the second Friday of every even numbered month (February, April, June, August, October and December).  Please contact us at (602) 771-8500 if you are considering becoming a licensed Well Driller in Arizona.

Older drilling rig An older version of a common drilling rig.  Once a familiar sight, this model is today regarded as a novelty or antique.
 

Well Spacing and Impact Rules and Replacement Wells in the Same Location

On June 6, 2006 the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (“GRRC”) approved the Arizona Department of Water Resources (“ADWR”) proposed rules establishing well spacing criteria for certain new wells and well uses in the state, and a rule defining what constitutes a replacement well in approximately the same location (collectively referred to as “well spacing rules”).  The well spacing rules, numbered R12-15-1301 through R12-15-1308, replace the temporary well spacing rules adopted by the director of ADWR (“Director”) on March 11, 1983The well spacing rules became effective on August 7, 2006.  Click here to view a copy of the approved well spacing rulesWord Icon

In developing the well spacing rules, ADWR held a number of stakeholders meetings to solicit input from persons potentially affected by the rules.  Persons attending the stakeholders group meetings included representatives of water providers, agricultural water users, industrial water users and landowners.

 

The following is a brief description of the well spacing rules:

Rules R12-15-1302 through R12-15-1307 contains well spacing criteria that must be complied with to construct or use certain wells in the state.  The rules are designed to prevent unreasonably increasing damage to surrounding land or other water users from the concentration of wells.  The well spacing criteria address three types of unreasonably increasing damage: (1) additional drawdown of water levels at neighboring wells of record; (2) additional regional land subsidence; and (3) migration of contaminated groundwater to a well of record.  The following applications and well uses are subject to the well spacing criteria:

1. An application filed under A.R.S. § 45-599 for a permit to construct a new well or a replacement well in a new location in an active management area (“AMA”).

2. An application filed under A.R.S. § 45-834.01 for a recovery well permit for a new well as defined in A.R.S. § 45-591 (generally, a non-exempt well drilled on or after June 12, 1980) or, except as provided in A.R.S. § 45-834.01(B)(2) or (3), for an existing well as defined in A.R.S. § 45-591 (generally, a non-exempt well drilled before June 12, 1980).

3. An application filed under A.R.S. § 45-559 for approval to use a well drilled after September 21, 1991 to withdraw groundwater outside of an AMA for transportation to an AMA.

4. The use of a well in the Little Colorado river plateau groundwater basin to withdraw groundwater for transportation away from the basin pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-544(B)(1), unless the well was constructed on or before September 21, 1991 or the well is a replacement well in approximately the same location.

5. An application for a water exchange permit under A.R.S. § 45-1041 filed by a person other than a city, town, private water company or irrigation district if there will be any new or increased pumping by the applicant from a well in an AMA.

6. The use of a well in an AMA by a participant in a water exchange for which a notice of water exchange is filed under A.R.S. § 45-1051 if there will be any new or increased pumping by the participant from the well.  This does not apply to cities, towns, private water companies or irrigation districts.

Rule R12-15-1308 contains criteria that must be met for a proposed well to qualify as a replacement well in approximately the same location.  A person proposing to construct a replacement well that will be located in approximately the same location as the well it is replacing must file a notice of intention (“NOI”) to drill the well, but is not required to obtain a well permit or comply with the well spacing criteria in R12-15-1302 through R12-15-1307.

Rule R12-15-1301 contains definitions of terms used in rules R12-15-1302 through R12-15-1308.

It is important to note that the well spacing rules do not apply to the construction or use of the following types of wells: (1) wells drilled outside of AMAs, except certain recovery wells and certain wells used to withdraw groundwater for transportation away from a groundwater basin; (2) exempt wells within AMAs (generally, non-irrigation wells with a maximum pumping capacity of 35 gallons per minute or less; (3) wells within AMAs drilled pursuant to groundwater withdrawal permits other than general industrial use permits (e.g., mineral extraction and metallurgical processing permits, drainage permits, dewatering permits and poor quality groundwater permits); and (4) wells that withdraw only surface water.

Questions regarding the rules should be directed to Scott Miller, Arizona Department of Water Resources, 3550 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012. Mr. Miller’s phone number is 602-771-8604.

 

Well News

Effective January 1, 2006, Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) § 45-454(C) will prohibit the drilling of an exempt well (a well that has a maximum pump capacity of not more than thirty-five gallons per minute and that is used only for non-irrigation purposes) on land if any part of the land is within 100 feet of the operating water distribution system of a municipal water provider that has an assured water supply designation (designated water provider) within the boundaries of an Active Management Area (AMA) as shown on a digitized service area map provided to the Director by the municipal provider and updated by the municipal provider as specified by the Director. 

There are several exceptions to this prohibition on drilling an exempt well on land within 100 feet of a designated water provider’s operating water distribution system.

First, A.R.S. § 45-454(D) provides that the Director shall grant an exemption from A.R.S. § 45-454(C) if the landowner demonstrates one of the following:

  1. The landowner submitted a written request for service to the municipal provider that operates the distribution system and the municipal provider did not provide written verification to the landowner with thirty calendar days after receipt of the request that water service is available to the landowner after payment of any applicable fee to the municipal provider.

  2. The total capital cost and fees for connecting to the operating water distribution system exceed the total capital cost and fees for drilling and fully equipping the exempt well.

  3. If the applicant must obtain an easement across other land to connect to the water distribution system of the municipal provider, the applicant sent the owner of the land a request for the easement by certified mail, return receipt requested, and either the applicant did not receive a response to the request within thirty calendar days of mailing the request or the request was denied.

  4. The landowner does not qualify for an exemption pursuant to paragraphs 1, 2, or 3 above and the landowner provides written verification from the municipal provider that the landowner shall not receive or request water service from the municipal provider while the exempt well is operational. The exemption for the well is revoked if the landowner or any subsequent landowner receives water service from the municipal provider. In determining whether to approve or reject an application to drill a non-exempt well under A.R.S. § 45-599, the Director shall not consider any impacts the proposed non-exempt well may have on an exempt well drilled pursuant to this paragraph.

Second, A.R.S. § 45-454(E) provides that A.R.S. § 45-454(C) does not prohibit the drilling of a replacement exempt well for an existing lawful exempt well if the replacement well does not increase the total number of operable exempt wells on the well owner’s land.

Finally, A.R.S. § 45-454(F) provides that A.R.S. § 45-454(C) does not apply to a remediation well drilled for the purpose of remediating groundwater if one of the following applies:

  1. The well is for an approved Department of Environmental Quality or United States Environmental Protection Agency remediation program.

  2. A registered geologist certifies that the remediation well is for the purpose of remediation.

Beginning January 1, 2006, a person filing a notice of intention (NOI) to drill an exempt well within an AMA (except a replacement exempt well) must indicate on the NOI whether the land on which the well is to be drilled is within 100 feet of a designated water provider’s operating water distribution system as shown on the provider’s most recent digitized service area map on file with the Department. To make this determination, the person filing the NOI must come to the Department’s offices and review the most recent digitized service area maps of all nearby designated water providers. If the person indicates on the NOI that the land on which the well is to be drilled is within 100 feet of a designated water provider’s operating water distribution system as shown on the provider’s most recent digitized service area map on file with the Department, the Department will not grant the NOI unless the person applies for and is granted an exemption pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-454(D) or (F).

It is important to note that the prohibition on drilling an exempt well on land within 100 feet of a designated water provider’s operating water distribution system applies up to the time well drilling commences. Therefore, even if the land on which an exempt well is to be drilled is not within 100 feet of a designated water provider’s operating water distribution system as shown on the provider’s most recent digitized service area map on file with the Department at the time the NOI is filed, if at any time between the time the NOI is filed and the time well drilling commences, a designated water provider files a digitized service area map showing that the provider’s operating water distribution system is within 100 feet of the land, the well may not be drilled on or after January 1, 2006 unless the person who filed the NOI applies for and is granted an exemption pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-454(D) or (F). For that reason, unless an exemption is granted at the time drilling authority is issued, a person who receives a drilling authority for an exempt well in an AMA (except a replacement exempt well) should come to the Department’s offices as close to the drilling date as possible and review the most recent digitized service area maps of all nearby designated water providers.

To request an exemption pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-454(D), a person must file with the Department supplemental form “Exempt Well Certification of Compliance with A.R.S. § 45-454(C) or Request for Exemption Pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-454(D)” [form A.R.S. § 45-454(C) & (D)].

To request an exemption pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-454(F), a person must file with the Department supplemental form “Remediation Well Certification of Compliance with A.R.S. § 45-454(C) or Request for Exemption Pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-454(F)” [form A.R.S. § 45-454(C) & (F)].

These supplemental forms are available at all Department offices and online at: Exempt Well Certification of Compliance with A.R.S. § 45-454(C) or Request for Exemption Pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-454(D) Acrobat Icon pdf and Remediation Well Certification of Compliance with A.R.S. § 45-454(C) or Request for Exemption Pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-454(F)Acrobat Icon pdf.

The digitized service area maps of designated water providers will be available for review by the public at the Department’s Phoenix office and in the outlying AMA offices beginning December 30, 2005. For security purposes, these maps may not be reproduced or electronically transferred. The Department will update the service area map of a designated water provider upon request by the provider, so it is important to review the maps as close to the drilling date as possible.

A person who files an NOI to drill an exempt well is responsible for ensuring that the well is not drilled in violation of A.R.S. § 45-454(C). If the Department determines that a person has drilled an exempt well in violation of A.R.S. § 45-454(C), the Department may commence an enforcement action against the person in which it may seek an order requiring the person to pay civil penalties and/or abandon the well.

For more information regarding A.R.S. § 45-454(C) and the prohibition on drilling an exempt well within 100 feet of a designated water provider’s operating water distribution systems, click here. OffSite Icon

For information regarding the 2005 Exempt Wells amendments, which affect wells designed to pump 35 gpm or less that are located within certain areas of the AMAs click hereOffSite Icon

For information regarding the Arizona Water Settlements Act, which affect several areas of the Department including well drilling (locating new wells in certain areas of the State), click hereOffSite Icon

Information about new laws and policies that affect well drilling and well driller licensing will be posted as they become available.

 

Contacts:  Well Permitting/Notice of Intent (NOI)

ADWR Groundwater Permitting and Wells Section

 

3550 N. Central Avenue

 

Phoenix AZ 85012

(602) 771-8527