The law

This article is for information purposes. It does not provide any legal advice.

You can find the full set of requirements for well construction and licensing at:

Depth

The well must be a least 6 metres deep.

If the only useful source of groundwater is less than 6 metres below ground surface, the well must be at least 3 metres deep.

Casing

A well must have a watertight casing (e.g., pipe) made of new material. The casing is installed inside the hole and prevents the ground from collapsing into the hole.

Sealing around the casing

Sealing material must be placed around the outside of the casing to reduce the risk of the well acting as a pathway for contaminants.

Development

Drilling fluids and other materials introduced during the construction of the well must be removed from the well water.

Disinfection

The well water must be disinfected.

Well cap or cover

Depending on the type of well, it must be covered with either a watertight cover or a manufactured vermin-proof well cap.

Venting

A well must be vented to ensure any dangerous gases are safely dispersed.

Yield test

The well must be pumped at a constant rate, and in most cases, water levels must be measured to determine the amount of water the well can supply.

Information package and sample

After construction, an information package and a 1-litre sample of the well water (for visual examination) must be given to the well purchaser unless otherwise directed. The depth of the well must also be measured in the presence of the well purchaser unless otherwise directed.

Notification

The well purchaser and the owner of the land must be notified if mineralized water (e.g., salty or sulphate-rich water), natural gas or other gas is detected. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change must also be notified if natural gas or other gas is detected in a well.

Well record

By law, a record of the well construction and information on general water quantity and quality must be completed.

Copies of the well record must be provided to the:

  • well purchaser
  • owner of the land
  • Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Well tag

A well tag obtained from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change must be visible and permanently attached to the well casing or another structure associated with the well.

The well tag links the well record with the well.

Pumps

Any person who installs a pump in a water supply well must meet the rules for:

  • notification
  • venting
  • well cap or cover
  • well tag
  • disinfection rules

Other rules that the person who installs a pump must follow include:

  • underground connections to the casing such as waterlines must be made watertight
  • all equipment installed in the well must be clean
  • for an existing well, an information package must be provided to the well purchaser unless otherwise directed
Updated: August 30, 2021
Published: February 04, 2014