Missouri Geological Survey fact sheet
Missouri Geological Survey Director: Joe Gillman, RG
PUB2743

The term “geotechnical boring” is used to cover numerous types of excavations. The purpose of this fact sheet is to clarify the types of geotechnical borings that are regulated by Missouri Well Construction Rules (MWCR). 

What is a geotechnical boring? 

A geotechnical boring is a temporary monitoring well used to collect or evaluate subsurface data to determine the properties of geologic materials such as type, chemical composition, compressibility, strength, thickness or structure. 

What geotechnical borings are exempt from MWCR?

  • Any boring that is less than 10 feet, total depth from ground surface.
  • Borings used to gather construction foundation data. This means drilling, auguring or hammering within the footprint of proposed structures such as roads, buildings and parking lots.
  • Borings used in the construction phase of piers, shafts, caissons, mini-piles and soil and rock anchors.
  • Borings used to inject grout to stabilize or prevent leakage of surface water containment structures.
  • Borings used for pressure relief or dewatering of structures or construction sites.

What about soil borings?

Soil borings are the most common type of geotechnical boring. Soil borings are regulated as temporary monitoring wells by the MWCR. 

Is a permit required to install geotechnical borings?

A non-restricted monitoring well drilling permit is required to install geotechnical borings that are not specifically exempted. See 10 CSR 23-1.090 for all drilling activities that require a permit. 

What type of permit do I need if I only contract the geotechnical boring work to another company?

A restricted monitoring well permit is required to contract work that is not specifically exempted. The company doing the actual work must hold a non-restricted monitoring well drilling permit.

Do I have to plug geotechnical borings?

Geotechnical borings must be plugged within 30 days. Exceptions to this are: 

  • The boring is less than 10 feet in depth.
  • The boring will be destroyed, excavated or incorporated into the structure being built. 
  • The boring is specifically exempted. 

It is recommended that exempted geotechnical borings be plugged?

If uncertain whether a boring must be plugged, please contact the Well Installation section for clarification before proceeding.

Is there a reporting requirement for geotechnical borings?

Geotechnical borings that are not exempted must be reported. The registration report and fee must be submitted within 180 days of plugging the first boring. Submit reports online using our mowells application. Alternately, they may be submitted via email using Form MO 780-2161, or they may be mailed to us at the address below. 

What regulations pertain to geotechnical boring installation?

If you have questions or would like assistance, please contact us at 573-368-2165 or email us at welldrillers@dnr.mo.gov.


Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.


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