This site has been established to facilitate the online filing of Notices of Intention to Drill Wells that are required by
A.R.S. § 45-596 and
The use of this site is restricted to licensed
well drilling contractors holding a current well drilling license issued under the authority of
A.R.S. § 45-595(B) and
by the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR).
This site may be used to obtain online authorization to drill an
exempt water production well that is located within an
Active Management Area (AMA) or to drill any type of water production well in an area located outside an AMA. This website may also be used to obtain authorization
to drill a monitor, piezometer, environmental or
exploration well at any location within the state. Well drillers and wells owners are advised that
wells that are drilled without official authorization are "illegal" wells, and
compliance actions may be taken against well drillers and well owners who drill such wells.
The following authorizations to drill or abandon wells
are not available through an online process at this time:
- Authorization to drill new non-exempt water production wells
within AMAs. This authorization must be obtained by filing an application for a well permit as required by
A.R.S. § 45-599 or a groundwater withdrawal permit.
- Authorization to modify, deepen, replace or abandon a well. These authorizations must be obtained by filing a paper
- Authorization to replace a non-exempt well in approximately the same location in an AMA, as authorized under
A.R.S. § 45-597 and A.A.C.
R12-15-840 This authorization must be obtained by filing a paper
- Authorization to drill new water production wells in or near the boundaries of a contamination site. This authorization must be obtained by filing a paper NOI form.
- Authorization to drill a Cathodic Protection, Grounding, or Heat Pump well. These authorizations must be obtained by filing a paper NOI form.
- Authorization to drill a Monitor, Piezometer, or Environment well, which is located within an area of known groundwater contamination and the screened or perforated interval is greater than 100 feet.
These authorizations must be obtained by filing a paper NOI form.
In addition to obtaining a well
drilling authorization, this site provides general drilling and abandonment
information and presents
special well construction requirements -
that apply to all wells that will be drilled within areas of known groundwater contamination. Such areas may
include, but are not limited to State of Arizona Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) sites and federal
CERCLA (Superfund) or DOD sites. This website also presents
substantive policy statements that provide general authorization for some types of well drilling and well abandonment
variances. Variance requests that are not covered by the substantive policy statements, must be made in writing and submitted along with the appropriate
NOI form to:
Arizona Department of Water Resources
P. O. Box 33589
Phoenix, Arizona 85067-3589
Substantive Policy Statement Link Relating to Well Drilling and Abandonment Variances
Variance from Minimum Well Construction Requirements and Setback Effective August 16, 1995. -
Provides that upon request, a person intending to drill a geotechnical well will be granted a variance from the minimum well construction requirements of A.A.C. R12-15-811 and the set back requirements
of A.A.C. R12-15-818, provided that the well is abandoned in accordance with A.A.C. R12-15-816 before the drill rig is removed from the site.
Thermoplastic Casing Surface Seal Variance for Vadose Zone.; Effective August 1, 2000. -
Provides that upon request, all qualified vadose zone, monitor, piezometer and exploration wells will be granted a variance that allows the substitution of qualified thermoplastic casing for the steel
casing required by A.A.C. R12-15-811 in the upper 20 feet of the well’s surface seal, unless extraordinary circumstances require steel casing. Wells issued this variance must be installed only in an oversized borehole without
driving, and be completed below land surface in a vault. The thermoplastic casing must conform with American Society of Testing and Materials Specification F480-89(1989).
Well Abandonment Handbook. Effective September 2008. -
Provides guidance to the public on the well abandonment rule A.A.C. R12-15-816. Well abandonments that conform with the applicable procedures presented in the handbook are deemed to be in compliance
with A.A.C. R12-16-816(G).
Variance Requests for Notices of Intention to Drill or Abandon Effective December 18, 2002. -
This policy statement provides for variances, upon request, for certain types of commonly requested well construction and well abandonment variances if certain criteria are met.
A.A.C.: means Arizona Administrative Code.
A.R.S.: means Arizona Revised Statutes.
Active Management Area: means a geographical area which has been designated pursuant to
[A.R.S. Title 45, Chapter 2, Article 2] as requiring active management of groundwater or, in the case of the Santa Cruz active management area, active management of any water,
other than stored water, withdrawn from a well. A.R.S. § 45-402(2).
Active management areas (AMAs) that have been established are the Phoenix, Pinal, Prescott, Tucson and Santa Cruz AMAs.
environmental response, compensation, and liability act of 1980 (CERCLA) site: means a site included in the federal government’s "Superfund" program that investigates sites that are contaminated
with hazardous substances and develops remedial actions that assure the protection of public health and welfare and the environment. The CERCLA program is administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(USEPA). The CERCLA Act of 1980 is authorized by P.L. 96-510; 94 Stat. 2767; 42 United States Code §§ 9601 through 9657.
Department of Defense (DOD) site: means a site that is contaminated with hazardous substances that is located at either an active
duty base or bases being closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) regulations and formerly used defense sites that are eligible for funding under the Installation Restoration Program as overseen by ADEQ. DOD sites are
administered by the US military and are authorized by the Defense Environmental Restoration Program, U.S.C. § 2701, et seq.
Domestic purposes: means uses related to the supply, service and activities of households and private residences and includes the application of water to
less than two acres of land to produce plants or parts of plants for sale or human consumption, or for use as feed for livestock, range livestock or poultry as such terms are defined in § 3-1201. A.R.S. § 45-454(I)(1).
Domestic well: means a small capacity water production well that is typically used to provide water for domestic purposes.
Environmental well: means a well normally associated with a site investigation or remedial action. Environmental wells include air sparging wells, biosparging
wells, vapor extraction wells, free product recovery wells, vadose zone wells and wells involving other types of remediation. Environmental wells are permanent installations, as opposed to geotechnical or exploration boreholes
that are drilled to obtain samples or information, and then immediately abandoned.
Exempt well: means a well having a pump with a maximum capacity of not more than thirty-five gallons per minute which is used to withdraw groundwater pursuant to A.R.S. §
45-454. A.R.S. § 45-402(8).
Exempt wells are small non-irrigation wells, typically used to provide water for domestic purposes. In active management areas, withdrawals of groundwater from exempt wells for non-irrigation uses other than domestic purposes
and stock watering shall not exceed 10 acre-feet per year. A.R.S. § 45-454(B)(2).
Exploration well: means a well drilled in search of geophysical, mineralogical or geotechnical data. A.A.C. R12-15-801(13).
Groundwater withdrawal permit: means a permit issued to withdraw groundwater in an AMA for a specific use that is authorized under
A.R.S. Title 45, Chapter 2, Article 7. Authorized groundwater uses that require groundwater withdrawal permits include: dewatering, temporary dewatering, emergency temporary dewatering, mineral extraction and
metallurgical processing, general industrial use, poor quality groundwater, drainage water withdrawal, temporary electrical generation and hydrologic testing.
Monitor well: means a well that is designed and drilled for the purpose of monitoring water quality within a specific depth interval. A.A.C.
Non-exempt well: means a well drilled within an Active Management Area that is drilled pursuant to a groundwater right authorized by A.R.S. Title 45, Chapter 2, Article 5,
a service area right authorized by A.R.S. Title 45, Chapter 2, Article 6 or a groundwater withdrawal permit authorized by A.R.S. Title 45, Chapter 2, Article .
Piezometer well: means a well that is designed and drilled for the purpose of monitoring water levels within a specific depth interval. A.A.C.
Special well construction or well abandonment requirements: means well construction
or well abandonment requirements or standards that exceed the minimum well construction requirements provided under A.A.C. R12-15-811 and A.A.C. R12-15-816. Special well construction or abandonment requirements
are required: 1) where special aquifer conditions, such as those described in A.A.C. R12-15-812, exist; 2) when it is determined that the literal application of the minimum well construction standards would not adequately
protect the aquifer or other water users (A.A.C. R12-15-821); and 3) in areas of known or anticipated groundwater contamination to prevent the risk of vertical cross-contamination (A.R.S. § 45-605(E) and A.A.C.
Specialty well: means a well that is usually designed and constructed for a specific purpose other than to withdraw water, or to provide samples or monitoring data.
Examples of specialty wells include cathodic protection wells, grounding wells, heat pump wells, etc.
Substantive Policy Statement: means a written expression which informs the
general public of an agency’s current approach to, or opinion of, the requirements of the federal or state constitution, federal or state statute, administrative rule or regulation, or final judgment of a court of competent
jurisdiction, including, where appropriate, the agency’s current practice, procedure or method of action based on that approach or opinion. A substantive policy statement is advisory only. A substantive policy statement does not
include internal procedural documents which only affect the internal procedures of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, confidential information or rules made in
accordance with this chapter. A.R.S. § 41-1001(20).
Vadose zone well: means a well constructed in the interval between the land surface and the top of the static water level. A.A.C. R12-15-801(26).
Variance: means a request to construct or abandon a well in a manner that does not conform to one or more provisions of A.A.C. Title 12, Chapter 15, Article 8, (rules governing the well construction
and the licensing of drillers) due to extraordinary or unusual conditions. Variances must be requested in writing, or by checking applicable responses on certain types of NOI forms.
Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) site: means a site included in the State of
Arizona’s "Superfund" program that investigates sites that are contaminated with hazardous substances and develops remedial actions that assure the protection of public health and welfare and the environment.
The WQARF program is administered by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). The WQARF program is authorized by A.R.S. § 49-282.
Well driller report and well log: means a report that must be filed by the well driller within 30 days of the completion of a
well that describes the "as built" well construction information and provides a well log of the well. The well driller report and well log are required by A.R.S. § 45-600.
Well drilling contractor: means an individual, public or private corporation, partnership, firm, association, or any other public or private organization or enterprise
that holds a well driller’s license pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-595(B).A.A.C. R12-15-801(30).
Well spacing and well impact rules: means rules that govern the location of new wells and replacement wells in new locations in active management areas to prevent
unreasonably increasing damage to surrounding land or other water users from the concentration of wells. Well spacing and well impact rules are authorized pursuant to A.R.S. § 45-598(A) and are set forth in A.A.C. R12-15 830.
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If the location of the well is near State Land you may be asked to submit the application directly to ADWR.