Individual - Private Wells

Information on Installation, Maintenance, Sampling, and Abandonment


Wells must be installed by a licensed water well contractor. By using a licensed water well contractor, you can ensure that they meet basic criteria listed below. In addition, prior to actual construction, the water well contractor must notify the county health department of the intent to drill a water well, providing such information as is required on forms prepared by the Water Well Council.

Have two years' experience working in the water well construction business under a licensed water well contractor

Pass an examination relating to the applicant's knowledge of basic ground water, basic well construction, and the general contents of this part.

The Environmental Protection Division provides a complete list of licensed well drillers.

Licensed well drillers are required to provide a performance bon or letter of credit to ensure proper drilling operations and compliance with the procedures and standards in the Well Water Standards Act. If your well has been installed in the past year and does not meet the construction and location requirements of these regulations, the bonding program is in place through the Environmental Protection Division, Watershed Protection Branch.


The well should be located as far removed from known or potential sources of pollutants as the general layout of the premises and surroundings permits. The well must not be located in areas subject to flooding unless the well casing extends at least two feet above the level of the highest known flood of record.

Download this pdf file. Chlorination Instructions

Wellhead protection measures:

  • Maintain the area around the well to be clean and accessible.
  • Do not store any chemicals, gasoline, or fertilizer within 50 feet of the well. 
  • Divert surface water away from the well. Install a water tight curbing, sloping away from the casing that is sufficient to prevent contamination.
  • Protected the upper terminal of the well by a sanitary seal or cover to prevent entrance of pollutants to the well.

The following horizontal distances are required under DNR’s Water Well Standards Act:· Not less than ten (10) feet from a sewer line

  • Not less than 50 feet from a septic tank
  • Not less than 100 feet from a septic tank absorption field
  • Not less than 150 feet from a cesspool or seepage pit
  • Not less than 100 feet from an animal or fowl enclosure

Sampling Recommendations:



It is recommended that a bacterial test (total coliform and fecal coliform) of well water is done annually. This testing may be available through Download this pdf file. County Environmental Health Offices .

In addition to bacterial testing, it is also recommended that a chemical screening (W33C analysis) of well water is done every 3 years. DPH recognizes the need to keep pace with emerging public health issues around the nation and throughout Georgia. To address widespread public concern regarding drinking water quality, DPH has taken proactive measures to collaborate with our partners at UGA Extension to update the chemical screening profile for well owners in Georgia.

The W33C, also known as the Download this pdf file. Private Well Chemical Test (PWCT) , is the revised chemical profile for private well owners. It incorporates specific tests for arsenic and lead, in addition to the constituent analysis included in the previously recommended W-33. The recent identification of naturally occurring arsenic in water wells in South Georgia in and near the “ Download this pdf file. Gulf Trough ” geologic structure, combined with the heightened awareness of lead in drinking water systems in the wake of Flint River, has motivated the test profile modification. DPH believes it is essential to take steps to safeguard the health of Georgians through early detection and identification in order to reduce the potential for exposure to harmful contaminants. The Download this pdf file. PWCT (W33C)  test is available through local UGA Extension Offices.

**Please be aware that the existing W-33 test is still the required test profile for all MOU wells serving public facilities that are permitted by DPH.  

For more information about arsenic, the Gulf Trough, water testing and arsenic filtration, please visit the DPH's Arsenic page

Proper Abandonment of Wells:

Any existing abandoned well or borehole shall be filled, sealed, and plugged by the present owner. An abandoned well is one that is no longer in use. Generally, “temporarily abandoned” means those wells unused for a minimum of 365 days, and “permanently abandoned” are those wells unused for three years.

Additional Information:

Download this pdf file. Water Well Brochure
Download this pdf file. Chlorination Instructions 
Safe Water Website (EPA)

Page last updated 10/25/16