Well Permits

The DNREC Well Permits Program manages and issues well construction and use permits for wells that withdraw 50,000 gallons per day or less of water. The program also inspects wells and maintains data on the construction and status of all wells for which a well construction or use permit has been issued.

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Are you a residential well owner? There are ways you can help maintain your well. DNREC offers 10 tips for protecting and maintaining wells in English and en Español

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services offers more information for Private Well Owners.

Contamination Reviews

All proposed well locations are checked for possible contamination issues as part of the state’s well permitting process. The state flags wells for a contamination review if there is a potential source of contamination within 1,000 feet of the proposed location.

Use the DNREC Well Viewer to find information about DNREC permits and remediation projects near a well. Search by well permit number, by address or by parcel number.

Well Construction and Use Permits

All wells in Delaware must be constructed by a water well contractor licensed by DNREC through the Water Well Licensing Board.

Applications for well construction and well use permits must be completed by a licensed water well contractor. The required application and reporting forms are available to licensed water well contractors upon request. A property owner’s signature is also required, unless submitted electronically.

The General Requirements and Guidelines for the Construction of Monitor and Observation Wells contain specific regulatory requirements as well as additional recommendations for use by engineers, designers and contractors to use when preparing monitor and observation well applications.

The Division of Water maintains a database of water well and water use data derived from permit applications, reports from permit holders and well completion and abandonment reports. Data are available for use by the regulated community, intergovernmental partners and the public.

Well Permits in the Open Data Portal

The Division provides information on well permits throughout the state via the Delaware Open Data Portal.

Well permit data in the Portal can be searched by property owner name, permit number and geographic location. The metadata for this dataset on the Open Data Portal includes a data dictionary with a full list and description of data fields.

The dataset includes available information on well permits from around 1950 to the present. Data may be limited for wells installed before 1985. Specific location data, for some well types, is redacted by state law.

Data Limitations

Submission of a list of data generated by running a search by itself is not satisfactory if the data will be used to determine surrounding groundwater use for the purpose of obtaining a permit for waste storage, disposal, or treatment.

The Division suggests combining data from these systems with door-to door surveys and a review of county tax maps in order to obtain complete and detailed well information.

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