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Water Wells

The Water Well Drillers Act, sections 256.000 to 256.640 RSMo, and the rules written to enforce this statute establish well construction standards aimed to protect Missouri's groundwater.

The quality of groundwater in Missouri varies considerably across the state. Some areas have abundant, high quality groundwater, while other areas have naturally mineralized or muddy water. In some areas of Missouri, pre-existing land use and other practices, such as waste disposal, have contaminated the aquifers. Because of the variability of groundwater quality in Missouri, rules can NOT guarantee that water produced from a properly constructed well will be of usable quality. The well construction rules are designed to ensure that contamination from the surface is not entering the subsurface from an improperly constructed well. The rules establish minimum specifications for well construction. In certain cases, more casing and grout may be necessary to construct a well. Experienced permitted drillers or pump installers should be able to determine when more stringent construction would be necessary.

We offer a number of services that may be helpful in determining where, how and what to look for when drilling a new well. These services include but are not limited to:

  • Casing Point Request - If a landowner or driller can provide us with the legal location of a proposed well site, we will send a letter with the determined minimum amount of casing required, and if necessary, a recommended amount of casing. We will also recommend total depth of the well, the geologic formation name at total depth of the well, an estimate on how much water may be expected, and other minimum construction standards. A written request is preferred, but the information can be supplied over the phone. Please be sure to have available the owners name, mailing address, phone number, proposed use of the well, and approximate distances from major lakes(if applicable). Click here for an electronic copy of the Casing Depth Request Form.
  • Technical Assistance - We provide technical assistance to the public and industry on construction questions. This can be accomplished over the phone or by letter.
  • Well Information Reports - This is a service in which we can supply information on wells within a specified area. Our Well Information Management System (WIMS) contains information on location, construction and some geology for most wells constructed after October 1986. By calling or writing, we can generate and send you a list of all of the known wells with construction details for any specific site or location within the state. Information is available in a separate database on approximately 25,000 wells drilled prior to October 1986. This database includes more detailed geologic information that has been generated by geologists since the early 1900s. For information from either database, there is an associated charge. Please be sure to inquire prior to placing your request.
  • Variance Request - A variance request is required when the normal construction standards for a well cannot be met for any number of reasons. Normally the deficiency in construction will be allowed as long as the rest of the construction is augmented to protect the groundwater. A written request is preferred, however, we will take the variance information over the phone.

We will also explain the minimum construction standards required for a new well in your local area. We have, in the past, used the combined data resources of the division to create maps to help inform drillers who construct wells in geologic/groundwater sensitive areas, and are always looking for new ways to apply our data to benefit the citizens of Missouri.