This rule was published in the March 1, 2011, issue (Vol. 2011, No. 5) of the Utah State Bulletin.
R655. Natural Resources, Water Rights.
R655-4. Water Well Drillers.
R655-4-1. Purpose, Scope, and Exclusions.
These rules are promulgated pursuant to Section 73-3-25.
The purpose of these rules is to assist in the orderly
development of underground water; insure that minimum
construction standards are followed in the drilling,
construction, deepening, repairing, renovating, cleaning,
development, and abandonment of water wells and other regulated
wells; prevent pollution of aquifers within the state; prevent
wasting of water from flowing wells; obtain accurate records of
well construction operations; and insure compliance with the
state engineer's authority for appropriating water.
All administrative procedures involving applications,
approvals, hearings, notices, revocations, orders and their
judicial review, and all other administrative procedures required
or allowed by these rules are governed by R655-6
"Administrative Procedures for Informal Proceedings Before
the Division of Water Rights".
The drilling, construction, deepening, repair,
renovation, replacement, cleaning, development, or abandonment of
the following types of wells is regulated by these administrative
rules and the work must be permitted by the Utah Division of
Water Rights and completed by a licensed well driller. These
rules apply to both vertical, angle and horizontal wells if they
fall within the criteria listed below. The rules contained herein
pertain only to work on the well itself. These rules do not
regulate the incidental work around the well such as pump and
motor installation and repair; plumbing, electrical, and
excavation work up to the well; and the building of well
enclosures unless these activities directly impact or change the
construction of the well itself. The process for an applicant to
obtain approval to drill, construct, deepen, repair, renovate,
clean, develop, abandon, or replace the wells listed below in
1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, and 1.2.4 is outlined in Section R655-4-7 of
1.2.1 Cathodic protection wells which are completed to a
depth greater than 30 feet.
1.2.2 Heating or cooling exchange wells which are greater
than 30 feet in depth and which encounter formations containing
groundwater. If a separate well or borehole is required for
re-injection purposes, it must also comply with these
1.2.3 Monitor, piezometer, and test wells designed for
the purpose of testing and monitoring water quality and quantity
which are completed to a depth greater than 30 feet.
1.2.4 Other wells (cased or open) which are completed to
a depth greater than 30 feet that can potentially interfere with
established aquifers such as wells to monitor mass movement
(inclinometers), facilitate horizontal utility placement, monitor
man-made structures, house instrumentation to monitor structural
performance, or dissipate hydraulic pressures (dewatering
1.2.5 Private water production wells which are completed
to a depth greater than 30 feet.
1.2.6 Public water system supply wells.
1.2.7 Recharge and recovery wells which are drilled under
the provisions of Title 73, Chapter 3b "Groundwater Recharge
and Recovery Act" Utah Code Annotated.
The drilling, construction, deepening, repair,
renovation, replacement, cleaning, development, or abandonment of
the following types of wells or boreholes are excluded from
regulation under these administrative rules:
1.3.1 Any wells described in Section 1.2 that are
constructed to a final depth of 30 feet or less. However,
diversion and beneficial use of groundwater from wells at a depth
of 30 feet or less shall require approval through the
appropriation procedures and policies of the state engineer and
Title 73, Chapter 3 of the Utah Code Annotated.
1.3.2 Geothermal wells. Although not regulated under the
Administrative Rules for Water Well Drillers, geothermal wells
are subject to Section 73-22-1 "Utah Geothermal Resource
Conservation Act" Utah Code Annotated and the rules
promulgated by the state engineer including Section R655-1, Wells
Used for the Discovery and Production of Geothermal Energy in the
State of Utah.
1.3.3 Temporary exploratory wells drilled to obtain
information on the subsurface strata on which an embankment or
foundation is to be placed or an area proposed to be used as a
potential source of material for construction.
1.3.4 Wells or boreholes drilled or constructed into
non-water bearing zones or which are 30 feet or less in depth for
the purpose of utilizing heat from the surrounding
1.3.5 Geotechnical borings drilled to obtain lithologic
data which are not installed for the purpose of utilizing or
monitoring groundwater, and which are properly sealed immediately
after drilling and testing.
1.3.6 Oil, gas, and mineral exploration/production wells.
These wells are subject to rules promulgated under the Division
of Oil, Gas, and Mining of the Utah Department of Natural
ABANDONED WELL - any well which is not in use and has
been sealed or plugged with approved sealing materials so that it
is rendered unproductive and will prevent contamination of
groundwater. A properly abandoned well will not produce water nor
serve as a channel for movement of water from the well or between
water bearing zones.
AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS INSTITUTE (ANSI) - a
nationally recognized testing laboratory that certifies building
products and adopts standards including those for steel and
plastic (PVC) casing utilized in the well drilling industry. ANSI
standards are often adopted for use by ASTM and AWWA. Current
information on standards can be obtained from: ANSI, 1430
Broadway, New York, NY 10018.
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING AND MATERIALS (ASTM) - an
independent organization concerned with the development of
standards on characteristics and performance of materials,
products and systems including those utilized in the well
drilling industry. Information may be obtained from: ASTM, 1916
Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19013.
AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION (AWWA) - an
international association which publishes standards intended to
represent a consensus of the water supply industry that the
product or procedure described in the standard will provide
satisfactory service or results. Information may be obtained
from: AWWA, 6666 West Quincy Avenue, Denver CO 80235.
ANNULAR SPACE - the space between the outer well casing
and the borehole or the space between two sets of
AQUIFER - a porous underground formation yielding
withdrawable water suitable for beneficial use.
ARTESIAN AQUIFER - a water-bearing formation which
contains underground water under sufficient pressure to rise
above the zone of saturation.
ARTESIAN WELL - a well where the water level rises
appreciably above the zone of saturation.
BENTONITE - a highly plastic, highly absorbent, colloidal
swelling clay composed largely of mineral sodium montmorillonite.
Bentonite is commercially available in powdered, granular,
tablet, pellet, or chip form which is hydrated with potable water
and used for a variety of purposes including the stabilization of
borehole walls during drilling, the control of potential or
existing high fluid pressures encountered during drilling below a
water table, well abandonment, and to provide a seal in the
annular space between the well casing and borehole wall.
BENTONITE GROUT - a mixture of bentonite and potable
water specifically designed to seal and plug wells and boreholes
mixed at manufacturer's specifications to a grout consistency
which can be pumped through a pipe directly into the annular
space of a well or used for abandonment. Its primary purpose is
to seal the borehole or well in order to prevent the subsurface
migration or communication of fluids.
CASH BOND - A type of well driller bond in the form of a
certificate of deposit (CD) submitted and assigned to the State
Engineer by a licensed driller to satisfy the required bonding
CASING - a tubular retaining and sealing structure that
is installed in the borehole to maintain the well
CATHODIC PROTECTION WELL - a well constructed for the
purpose of installing deep anodes to minimize or prevent
electrolytic corrosive action of metallic structures installed
below ground surface, such as pipelines, transmission lines, well
casings, storage tanks, or pilings.
CONFINING UNIT - a geological layer either of
unconsolidated material, usually clay or hardpan, or bedrock,
usually shale, through which virtually no water moves.
CONSOLIDATED FORMATION - bedrock consisting of
sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic rock (e.g., shale,
sandstone, limestone, quartzite, conglomerate, basalt, granite,
DEWATERING WELL - a water extraction well constructed for
the purpose of lowering the water table elevation, either
temporarily or permanently, around a man-made structure or
DISINFECTION - or disinfecting is the use of chlorine or
other disinfecting agent or process approved by the state
engineer, in sufficient concentration and contact time adequate
to inactivate or eradicate bacteria such as coliform or other
DRAWDOWN - the difference in elevation between the static
water level and the pumping water level in a well.
DRILL RIG - any power-driven percussion, rotary, boring,
coring, digging, jetting, or augering machine used in the
construction of a well or borehole.
EMERGENCY SITUATION - any situation where immediate
action is required to protect life or property. Emergency status
would also extend to any situation where life is not immediately
threatened but action is needed immediately and it is not
possible to contact the state engineer for approval. For example,
it would be considered an emergency if a domestic well needed
immediate repair over a weekend when the state engineer's
offices are closed.
GRAVEL PACKED WELL - a well in which filter material such
as sand and/or gravel is placed in the annular space between the
well intakes (screen or perforated casing) and the borehole wall
to increase the effective diameter of the well and to prevent
fine-grained sediments from entering the well.
GROUNDWATER - subsurface water in a zone of
GROUT - a fluid mixture of Portland cement or bentonite
with water of a consistency that can be forced through a pipe and
placed as required. Upon approval, various additives such as
sand, bentonite, and hydrated lime may be included in the mixture
to meet different requirements.
HYDRAULIC FRACTURING - the process whereby water or other
fluid is pumped with sand under high pressure into a well to
fracture and clean-out the rock surrounding the well bore thus
increasing the flow to the well.
MONITOR WELL - a well, as defined under "well"
in this section, that is constructed for the purpose of
determining water levels, monitoring chemical, bacteriological,
radiological, or other physical properties of ground water or
vadose zone water.
NATIONAL SANITATION FOUNDATION (NSF) - a voluntary third
party consensus standards and testing entity established under
agreement with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
develop testing and adopt standards and certification programs
for all direct and indirect drinking water additives and
Information may be obtained from: NSF, 3475 Plymouth
Road, P O Box 1468, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106.
NEAT CEMENT GROUT - cement conforming to the ASTM
Standard C150 (standard specification of Portland cement), with
no more than six gallons of water per 94 pound sack (one cubic
foot) of cement of sufficient weight density of not less than 15
OPERATOR - a drill rig operator is an individual who
works under the direct supervision of a licensed Utah Water Well
Driller and who can be left in responsible charge to construct
water wells using equipment that is under the direct control of
PIEZOMETER - a tube or pipe, open at the bottom in
groundwater, and sealed along its length, used to measure
hydraulic head or water level in a geologic unit.
PITLESS ADAPTER OR UNIT - an assembly of parts designed
for attachment to a well casing which allows buried pump
discharge from the well and allows access to the interior of the
well casing for installation or removal of the pump or pump
appurtenances, while preventing contaminants from entering the
well. Such devices protect the water and distribution lines from
temperature extremes, permit extension of the casing above ground
as required in Subsection R655-4-9.3.2 and allow access to the
well, pump or system components within the well without exterior
excavation or disruption of surrounding earth or surface
POLLUTION - the alteration of the physical, thermal,
chemical, or biological quality of, or the contamination of, any
water that renders the water harmful, detrimental, or injurious
to humans, animals, vegetation, or property, or to public health,
safety, or welfare, or impairs the usefulness or the public
enjoyment of the water for any or reasonable purpose.
POTABLE WATER - water supplied for human consumption,
sanitary use, or for the preparation of food or pharmaceutical
products which is free from biological, chemical, physical, and
PRESSURE GROUTING - a process by which grout is confined
within the drillhole or casing by the use of retaining plugs or
packers and by which sufficient pressure is applied to drive the
grout slurry into the annular space or zone to be
PRIVATE WATER PRODUCTION WELL - a privately owned well
constructed to supply water for any purpose which has been
approved by the state engineer (such as irrigation, stockwater,
domestic, commercial, industrial, etc.).
PROBATION - A disciplinary action that may be taken by
the state engineer that entails greater review and regulation of
well drilling activities but which does not prohibit a well
driller from engaging in the well drilling business or operating
well drilling equipment.
PROVISIONAL WELL - authorization granted by the state
engineer to drill under a pending, unapproved water right, change
or exchange application; or for the purpose of determining
characteristics of an aquifer, or the existence of a useable
groundwater source. Water from a provisional well cannot be put
to beneficial use until the application has been
PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM SUPPLY WELL - a well, either publicly
or privately owned, providing water for human consumption and
other domestic uses which has at least 15 service connections or
regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily for
at least 60 days out of the year. Public Water System Supply
Wells are also regulated by the Division of Drinking Water in the
Utah Department of Environmental Quality (Section R309 of the
Utah Administrative Code).
PUMPING WATER LEVEL - the water level in a well after a
period of pumping at a given rate.
REVOCATION - A disciplinary action that may be taken by
the state engineer that rescinds the well driller's Utah
Water Well Driller's License
SAND - a material having a prevalent grain size ranging
from 2 millimeters to 0.06 millimeters.
SAND CEMENT GROUT - a grout consisting of equal parts of
cement conforming to ASTM standard C150 and sand/aggregate with
no more than six (6) gallons of water per 94 pound sack (one
cubic foot) of cement.
STANDARD DIMENSION RATIO (SDR) - the ratio of average
outside pipe diameter to minimum pipe wall thickness.
STATE ENGINEER - the director of the Utah Division of
Water Rights or any employee of the Division of Water Rights
designated by the state engineer to act in administering these
STATIC LEVEL - stabilized water level in a non-pumped
well beyond the area of influence of any pumping well.
SURETY BOND - an indemnity agreement in a sum certain and
payable to the state engineer, executed by the licensee as
principal and which is supported by the guarantee of a
corporation authorized to transact business as a surety in the
State of Utah.
SUSPENSION - A disciplinary action that may be taken by
the state engineer that prohibits the well driller from engaging
in the well drilling business or operating well drilling
equipment as a registered operator for a definite period of time
and /or until certain conditions are met.
TEST WELL - authorization granted by the state engineer
to drill under a Non-production well approval for the purpose of
determining characteristics of an aquifer, or the existence of a
useable groundwater source. Water from a Test Well cannot be put
to beneficial use.
TREMIE PIPE - a device that carries materials such as
seal material, gravel pack, or formation stabilizer to a
designated depth in a drill hole or annular space.
UNCONSOLIDATED FORMATION - loose, soft, incoherent rock
material composed of sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic rock
which includes sand, gravel, and mixtures of sand and gravel.
These formations are widely distributed and can possess good
water storage and transmissivity characteristics.
UNHYDRATED BENTONITE - dry bentonite consisting primarily
of granules, tablets, pellets, or chips that may be placed in a
well or borehole in the dry state and hydrated in place by either
formation water or by the addition of potable water into the well
or borehole containing the dry bentonite. Unhydrated bentonite
can be used for sealing and abandonment of wells.
VADOSE ZONE - the zone containing water under less than
atmospheric pressure, including soil water, intermediate vadose
water and capillary water. The zone extends from land surface to
the zone of saturation or water table.
WATERTIGHT - a condition that does not allow the
entrance, passage, or flow of water under normal operating
WELL - a horizontal or vertical excavation or opening
into the ground made by digging, boring, drilling, jetting,
augering, or driving or any other artificial method and left
cased or open for utilizing or monitoring underground
WELL DRILLER - any person who is licensed by the state
engineer to construct water wells for compensation or otherwise.
The licensed driller has total responsibility for the
construction work in progress at the well drilling site.
WELL DRILLER BOND - A financial guarantee to the state
engineer, in the form of a surety bond or cash bond, by which a
licensed driller binds himself to pay the penal sum of $5,000 to
the state engineer in the event of significant noncompliance with
the Administrative Rules for Water Well Drillers.
WELL DRILLING - the act of drilling, constructing,
deepening, replacing, repairing, renovating, cleaning,
developing, or abandoning a well.
R655-4-3. Licenses and Registrations.
3.1.1 Section 73-3-25 of the Utah Code requires every
person that constructs a well in the state to obtain a license
from the state engineer. Licenses and registrations are not
3.1.2 Any person found to be drilling a well without a
valid well driller's license or operator's registration
will be ordered to cease drilling by the state engineer. The
order may be made verbally but must also be followed by a written
order. The order may be posted at an unattended well drilling
site. A person found drilling without a license will be subject
to the state engineer's enforcement powers under Section
73-2-25 of the Utah Code (Related rules: Section R655-14 UAC) and
subject to criminal prosecution under Section 73-3-26 of the Utah
Code annotated, 1953.
3.2 Well Driller's License.
An applicant must meet the following requirements to
become licensed as a Utah Water Well Driller:
3.2.1 Applicants must be 21 years of age or
3.2.2 Complete and submit the application form provided
by the state engineer.
3.2.3 Pay the application fee approved by the state
3.2.4 Provide documentation of experience according to
the following standards:
188.8.131.52 Water well drillers shall provide documentation
of at least two (2) years of full time prior water well drilling
experience with a licensed driller in good standing OR
documentation of sixteen (16) wells constructed by the applicant
under the supervision of a licensed well driller in good
184.108.40.206 Monitor well drillers shall provide documentation
of at least two (2) years of full time prior monitor well
drilling experience with a licensed driller in good standing OR
documentation of thirty two (32) wells constructed by the
applicant under the supervision of a licensed well driller in
220.127.116.11 Heating/cooling exchange and other non-production
well drillers must provide documentation of at least six (6)
months of full time prior well drilling experience with a
licensed driller in good standing AND documentation of sixteen
(16) well drilling projects constructed by the applicant under
the supervision of a licensed well driller in good
18.104.22.168 A copy of the well log for each well constructed
must be provided. The documentation must also show the
applicant's experience with each type of drilling rig to be
listed on the license. Acceptable documentation will include
registration with the Division of Water Rights, letters from
licensed well drillers (Utah or other states), or a water well
drilling license granted by another state, etc.
22.214.171.124 Successful completion of classroom study in
geology, well drilling, map reading, and other related subjects
may be substituted for up to, but not exceeding, twenty five
percent of the required drilling experience, and for up to, but
not exceeding, twenty five percent of the required drilled wells
or well drilling projects. The state engineer will determine the
number of months of drilling experience and the number of drilled
wells that will be credited for the classroom study.
3.2.5 File a well driller bond in the sum of $5,000 with
the Division of Water Rights payable to the state engineer. The
well driller bond must be filed under the conditions and criteria
described in Section 4-3.6.
3.2.6 Obtain a score of at least 70% on each of the
written licensing examinations required and administered by the
state engineer. The required examinations test the
applicant's knowledge of:
a. The Administrative Rules for Water Well Drillers and
Utah water law as it pertains to underground water;
b. The minimum construction standards established by the
state engineer for water well construction;
c. Geologic formations and proper names used in
describing underground material types;
d. Reading maps and locating points from descriptions
based on section, township, and range;
e. Groundwater geology and the occurrence and movement of
f. The proper operating procedures and construction
methods associated with the various types of water well drilling
rigs. (A separate test is required for each type of water well
drilling rig to be listed on the license).
3.2.7 Demonstrate proficiency in resolving problem
situations that might be encountered during the construction of a
water well by passing an oral examination administered by the
3.3 Drill Rig Operator's Registration.
An applicant must meet the following requirements to
become registered as a drill rig operator:
3.3.1 Applicants must be 18 years of age or
3.3.2 Complete and submit the application form provided
by the state engineer.
3.3.3 Pay the application fee approved by the state
3.3.4 Provide documentation of at least six (6) months of
prior water well drilling experience with a licensed driller in
good standing. The documentation must show the applicant's
experience with each type of drilling rig to be listed on the
registration. Acceptable documentation will include letters from
licensed well drillers or registration as an operator in another
3.3.5 Obtain a score of at least 70% on a written
examination of the minimum construction standards established by
the state engineer for water well construction. The test will be
provided to the licensed well driller by the state engineer. The
licensed well driller will administer the test to the prospective
operator and return it to the state engineer for
3.4 Conditional, Restricted, or Limited
The state engineer may issue a restricted, conditional,
or limited license to an applicant based on prior drilling
3.5 Refusal to Issue a License or Registration.
The state engineer may, upon investigation and after a
hearing, refuse to issue a license or a registration to an
applicant if it appears the applicant has not had sufficient
training or experience to qualify as a competent well driller or
3.6 Falsified Applications.
The state engineer may, upon investigation and after a
hearing, revoke a license or a registration in accordance with
Section 5.6 if it is determined that the original application
contained false or misleading information.
3.7 Well Driller Bond.
126.96.36.199. In order to become licensed and to continue
licensure, a well driller must file a well driller bond in the
form of a surety bond or cash bond, approved by the state
engineer, in the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000) with the
Division of Water Rights, on a form provided by the Division,
which is conditioned upon proper compliance with the law and
these rules and which is effective for the licensing period in
which the license is to be issued. The bond shall stipulate the
obligee as the "Office of the State Engineer". The well
driller bond is penal in nature and is designed to ensure
compliance by the licensed well driller to protect the
groundwater resource, the environment, and public health and
safety. The bond may only be exacted by the state engineer for
the purposes of investigating, repairing, or abandoning wells in
accordance with applicable rules and standards. No other person
or entity may initiate a claim against the well driller bond.
Lack of a current and valid well driller bond shall be deemed
sufficient grounds for denial of a driller's license. The
well driller bond may consist of a surety bond or a cash bond as
3.7.2 Surety Bonds.
188.8.131.52. The licensed well driller and a surety company
or corporation authorized to do business in the State of Utah as
surety shall bind themselves and their successors and assigns
jointly and severally to the state engineer for the use and
benefit of the public in full penal sum of five thousand dollars
($5,000). The surety bond shall specifically cover the
licensee's compliance with the Administrative Rules for Water
Well Drillers found in R655-4 of the Utah Administrative Code.
Forfeiture of the surety bond shall be predicated upon a failure
to drill, construct, repair, renovate, deepen, clean, develop, or
abandon a regulated well in accordance with these rules (R655-4
UAC). The bond shall be made payable to the 'Utah State
Engineer' upon forfeiture. The surety bond must be effective
and exactable in the State of Utah.
184.108.40.206. The bond and any subsequent renewal certificate
shall specifically identify the licensed individual covered by
that bond. The licensee shall notify the state engineer of any
change in the amount or status of the bond. The licensee shall
notify the state engineer of any cancellation or change at least
thirty (30) days prior to the effective date of such cancellation
or change. Prior to the expiration of the 30-days notice of
cancellation, the licensee shall deliver to the state engineer a
replacement surety bond or transfer to a cash bond. If such a
bond is not delivered, all activities covered by the license and
bond shall cease at the expiration of the 30 day period.
Termination shall not relieve the licensee or surety of any
liability for incidences that occurred during the time the bond
was in force.
220.127.116.11. Before the bond is forfeited by the licensed
driller and exacted by the state engineer, the licensed driller
shall have the option of resolving the noncompliance to standard
either by personally doing the work or by paying to have another
licensed driller do the work. If the driller chooses not to
resolve the problem that resulted in noncompliance, the entire
bond amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) shall be forfeited
by the surety and expended by the state engineer to investigate,
repair or abandon the well(s) in accordance with the standards in
R655-4 UAC. Any excess there from shall be retained by the state
engineer and expended for the purpose of investigating,
repairing, or abandoning wells in accordance with applicable
rules and standards. All claims initiated by the state engineer
against the surety bond will be made in writing.
18.104.22.168. The bond of a surety company that has failed,
refused or unduly delayed to pay, in full, on a forfeited bond is
3.7.3 Cash Bonds.
22.214.171.124. The requirements for the well driller bond may
alternatively be satisfied by a cash bond in the form of a
certificate of deposit (CD) for the amount of five thousand
dollars ($5,000) issued by a federally insured bank or credit
union with an office(s) in the State of Utah. The cash bond must
be in the form of a CD. Savings accounts, checking accounts,
letters of credit, etc., are not acceptable cash bonds. The CD
shall specifically identify the licensed individual covered by
that fund. The CD shall be automatically renewable and fully
assignable to the state engineer. CD shall state on its face that
it is automatically renewable.
126.96.36.199. The cash bond shall specifically cover the
licensee's compliance with well drilling rules found in
R655-4 of the Utah Administrative Code. The CD shall be made
payable or assigned to the state engineer and placed in the
possession of the state engineer. If assigned, the state engineer
shall require the bank or credit union issuing the CD to waive
all rights of setoff or liens against those CD. The CD, if a
negotiable instrument, shall be placed in the state
engineer's possession. If the CD is not a negotiable
instrument, the CD and a withdrawal receipt, endorsed by the
licensee, shall be placed in the state engineer's
188.8.131.52. The licensee shall submit CDs in such a manner
which will allow the state engineer to liquidate the CD prior to
maturity, upon forfeiture, for the full amount without penalty to
the state engineer. Any interest accruing on a CD shall be for
the benefit of the licensee.
184.108.40.206. The period of liability for a cash bond is five
(years) after the expiration, suspension, or revocation of the
license. The cash bond will be held by the state engineer until
the five year period is over, then it will be relinquished to the
licensed driller. In the event that a cash bond is replaced by a
surety bond, the period of liability, during which time the cash
bond will be held by the state engineer, shall be five (5) years
from the date the new surety bond becomes effective.
3.7.4 Exacting a Well Driller Bond.
220.127.116.11. If the state engineer determines, following an
investigation and a hearing in accordance with the process
defined in Section 4-5, that the licensee has failed to comply
with the Administrative Rules for Water Well Drillers and refused
to remedy the noncompliance, the state engineer may suspend or
revoke a well driller's license and fully exact the well
driller bond and deposit the money as a non-lapsing dedicated
18.104.22.168. The state engineer may expend the funds derived
from the bond to investigate or correct any deficiencies which
could adversely affect the public interest resulting from
non-compliance with the Administrative Rules by any well
22.214.171.124. The state engineer shall send written
notification by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the
licensee and the surety on the bond, if applicable, informing
them of the determination to exact the well driller bond. The
state engineer's decision regarding the noncompliance will be
attached to the notification which will provide facts and
justification for bond exaction. In the case of a surety bond
exaction, the surety company will then forfeit the total bond
amount to the state engineer. In the case of a cash bond, the
state engineer will cash out the CD. The exacted well driller
bond funds may then be used by the state engineer to cover the
costs of well investigation, repair, and/or abandonment.
R655-4-4. Administrative Requirements and General
4.1 Authorization to Drill.
The well driller shall make certain that a valid
authorization or approval to drill exists before engaging in
regulated well drilling activity. Authorization to drill shall
consist of a valid 'start card' based on any of the
approvals listed below. Items 4.1.1 through 4.1.12 allow the
applicant to contract with a well driller to drill, construct,
deepen, replace, repair, renovate, clean, develop, or abandon
exactly one well at each location listed on the start card or
approval form. The drilling of multiple borings/wells at an
approved location/point of diversion is not allowed without
authorization from the state engineer's office. Most start
cards list the date when the authorization to drill expires. If
the expiration date has passed, the start card and authorization
to engage in regulated drilling activity is no longer valid. If
there is no expiration date on the start card, the driller must
contact the state engineer's office to determine if the
authorization to drill is still valid. When the work is
completed, the permission to drill is terminated.
4.1.1 An approved application to appropriate.
4.1.2 A provisional well approval letter.
An approved provisional well letter grants authority to
drill but allows only enough water to be diverted to determine
the characteristics of an aquifer or the existence of a useable
4.1.3 An approved permanent change application.
4.1.4 An approved exchange application.
4.1.5 An approved temporary change application.
4.1.6 An approved application to renovate or deepen an
4.1.7 An approved application to replace an existing
4.1.8 An approved monitor well letter.
An approved monitor well letter grants authority to drill
but allows only enough water to be diverted to monitor
4.1.9 An approved heat exchange well letter.
4.1.10 An approved cathodic protection well
4.1.11 An approved non-production well construction
4.1.12 Any letter or document from the state engineer
directing or authorizing a well to be drilled or work to be done
on a well.
4.2 Start Cards.
4.2.1 Prior to commencing any work (other than
abandonment, see 4.2.4) on any well governed by these
administrative rules, the driller must notify the state engineer
of that intention by transmitting the information on the
"Start Card" to the state engineer by telephone, by
facsimile (FAX), by hand delivery, or by e-mail. A completed
original Start Card must be sent to the state engineer by the
driller after it has been telephoned or E-mailed.
4.2.2 A specific Start Card is printed for each well
drilling approval and is furnished by the state engineer to the
applicant or the well owner. The start card is preprinted with
the water right or non-production well number, owner
name/address, and the approved location of the well. The state
engineer marks the approved well drilling activity on the card.
The driller must put the following information on the
a. The date on which work on the well will
b. The projected completion date of the work;
c. The well driller's license number;
d. The well driller's signature.
4.2.3 When a single authorization is given to drill wells
at more than one point of diversion, a start card shall be
submitted for each location to be drilled.
4.2.4 Following the submittal of a start card, if the
actual start date of the drilling activity is postponed beyond
the date identified on the start card, the licensed driller must
notify the state engineer of the new start date.
4.2.5 A start card is not required to abandon a well.
However, prior to commencing well abandonment work, the driller
is required to notify the state engineer by telephone, by
facsimile, or by e-mail of the proposed abandonment work. The
notice must include the location of the well. The notice should
also include the water right or non-production well number
associated with the well and the well owner if that information
4.3 General Requirements During Construction.
4.3.1 The well driller shall have the required penal bond
continually in effect during the term of the well driller's
4.3.2 The well driller's license number or the well
driller's company name exactly as shown on the well drilling
license must be prominently displayed on each well drilling rig
operated under the well driller's license. If the well
driller's company name is changed the well driller must
immediately inform the state engineer of the change in
4.3.3 A licensed well driller or a registered operator
must be at the well site whenever the following aspects of well
construction are in process: advancing the borehole, setting
casing and screen, placing a filter pack, constructing a surface
seal, or similar activities involved in well deepening,
renovation, repair, cleaning, developing, or abandoning. All
registered operators working under a well driller's license
must be employees of the well driller and must use equipment
either owned by or leased by the licensed well driller.
4.3.4 A registered operator who is left in responsible
charge of advancing the borehole, setting casing and screen,
placing a filter pack, constructing a surface seal, or similar
activities involved in well deepening, renovation, repair,
cleaning, developing, or abandoning must have a working knowledge
of the minimum construction standards and the proper operation of
the drilling rig. The licensed well driller is responsible to
ensure that a registered operator is adequately trained to meet
4.3.5 State engineer provisions for issuing cease and
desist orders (Red Tags)
126.96.36.199 Construction Standards: The state engineer or
staff of the Division of Water Rights may order that regulated
work on a well cease if a field inspection reveals that the
construction does not meet the minimum construction standards to
the extent that the public interest might be adversely
188.8.131.52 Licensed Drilling Method: A cease work order may
also be issued if the well driller is not licensed for the
drilling method being used for the well construction.
184.108.40.206 Incompetent Registered Operator: If, during a
field inspection by the staff of the Division of Water Rights, it
is determined that a registered operator in responsible charge
does not meet these requirements, a state engineer's red tag
(see Section 4.3.5) will be placed on the drilling rig and the
drilling operation will be ordered to shut down. The order to
cease work will remain effective until a qualified person is
available to perform the work.
220.127.116.11 No licensed driller or registered operator on
site: If, during a field inspection by the staff of the Division
of Water Rights, it is determined that neither a licensed driller
or registered operator are one site when regulated drilling
activity is occurring, the state engineer may order regulated
well drilling work to cease.
18.104.22.168 General: The state engineer's order will be
in the form of a red tag which will be attached to the drilling
rig. A letter from the state engineer will be sent to the
licensed driller to explain the sections of the administrative
rules which were violated. The letter will also explain the
requirements that must be met before the order can be
4.3.6 When required by the state engineer, the well
driller or registered operator shall take lithologic samples at
the specified intervals and submit them in the bags provided by
the state engineer.
4.3.7 A copy of the current Administrative Rules for
Water Well Drillers should be available at each well construction
site for review by the construction personnel. Licensed well
drillers and registered operators must have proof of licensure or
registration with them on site during regulated drilling
4.3.8 Prior to starting construction of a new well, the
licensed driller shall investigate and become familiar with the
drilling conditions, geology of potential aquifers and overlying
materials, anticipated water quality problems, and know
contaminated water bearing zones that may be encountered in the
area of the proposed drilling activity.
4.4 Removing Drill Rig From Well Site.
4.4.1 A well driller shall not remove his drill rig from
a well site unless the well drilling activity is properly
completed or abandoned in accordance with the construction
standards in Sections 9 thru 12.
4.4.2 For the purposes of these rules, the regulated work
on a well will be considered completed when the well driller
removes his drilling rig from the well site.
4.4.3 The well driller may request a variance from the
state engineer to remove a drill rig from a well prior to
completion or abandonment. This request must be in written form
to the state engineer. The written request must provide
justification for leaving the well incomplete or un-abandoned and
indicate how the well will be temporarily abandoned as provided
in Section R655-4-12 and must give the date when the well driller
plans to continue work to either complete the well or permanently
4.5 Official Well Driller's Report (Well
4.5.1 Within 30 days of the completion of regulated work
on any well, the driller shall file an official well
driller's report (well log) with the state engineer. The
blank well log form will be mailed to the licensed well driller
upon receipt of the information on the Start Card as described in
4.5.2 The water right number or non-production well
number, owner name/address, and the approved location of the well
will be preprinted on the blank well log provided to the well
driller. The driller is required to verify this information and
make any necessary changes on the well log prior to submittal.
The state engineer will mark the approved activity (e.g., new,
replace, repair, deepen) on the well log. The driller must
provide the following information on the well log:
a. The start and completion date of work on the
b. The nature of use for the well (e.g., domestic,
irrigation, stock watering, commercial, municipal, provisional,
monitor, cathodic protection, heat pump, etc.;
c. The borehole diameter, depth interval, drilling method
and drilling fluids utilized to drill the well;
d. The lithologic log of the well based on strata samples
taken from the borehole as drilling progresses;
e. Static water level information to include date of
measurement, static level, measurement method, reference point,
artesian flow and pressure, and water temperature;
f. The size, type, description, joint type, and depth
intervals of casing, screen, and perforations;
g. A description of the filter pack, surface and interval
seal material, and packers used in the well along with necessary
related information such as the depth interval, quantity, and mix
h. A description of the finished wellhead
i. The date and method of well development;
j. The date, method, yield, drawdown, and elapsed time of
a well yield test;
k. A description of pumping equipment (if
l. Other comments pertinent to the well activity
m. The well driller's statement to include the
driller name, license number, signature, and date.
4.5.3 Accuracy and completeness of the submitted well log
are required. Of particular importance is the lithologic section
which should accurately reflect the geologic strata penetrated
during the drilling process. Sample identification must be logged
in the field as the borehole advances and the information
transferred to the well log form for submission to the state
4.5.4 An amended well log shall be submitted by the
licensed driller if it becomes known that the original report
contained inaccurate or incorrect information, or if the original
report requires supplemental data or information. Any amended
well log must be accompanied by a written statement, signed and
dated by the licensed well driller, attesting to the
circumstances and the reasons for submitting the amended well
4.6 Official Well Abandonment Reports (Abandonment
4.6.1 Whenever a well driller is contracted to replace an
existing well under state engineer's approval, it shall be
the responsibility of the well driller to inform the well owner
that it is required by law to permanently abandon the old well in
accordance with the provisions of Section R655-4-12.
4.6.2 Within 30 days of the completion of abandonment
work on any well, the driller shall file an abandonment log with
the state engineer. The blank abandonment log will be mailed to
the licensed well driller upon notice to the state engineer of
commencement of abandonment work as described in Subsection
4.6.3 The water right number or non-production well
number, owner name/address, and the well location (if available)
will be preprinted on the blank abandonment log provided to the
well driller. The driller is required to verify this information
and make any necessary changes on the abandonment log prior to
submitting the log. The driller must provide the following
information on the abandonment log:
a. Existing well construction information;
b. Date of abandonment;
c. Reason for abandonment;
d. A description of the abandonment method;
e. A description of the abandonment materials including
depth intervals, material type, quantity, and mix ratio;
f. Replacement well information (if applicable);
g. The well driller's statement to include the
name, license number, signature, and date.
4.6.4 When a well is replaced and the well owner will not
allow the driller to abandon the existing well, the driller must
briefly explain the situation on the abandonment form and submit
the form to the state engineer within 30 days of completion of
the replacement well.
4.7 Incomplete or Incorrectly Completed Reports.
An incomplete well/abandonment log or a well/abandonment
log that has not been completed correctly will be returned to the
licensed well driller to be completed or corrected. The well log
will not be considered filed with the state engineer until it is
complete and correct.
4.8 Extensions of Time.
The well driller may request an extension of time for
filing the well log if there are circumstances which prevent the
driller from obtaining the necessary information before the
expiration of the 30 days. The extension request must be
submitted in writing before the end of the 30-day
4.9 Late Well Logs - Lapsed License
All outstanding well logs or abandonment logs shall be
properly submitted to the state engineer prior to the lapsing of
a license. A person with a lapsed license who has failed to
submit all well/abandonment logs within 90 days of lapsing will
be subject to the state engineer's enforcement powers under
Section 73-2-25 of the Utah Code (Related rules: Section R655-14
R655-4-5. Well Driller Disciplinary Procedures.
5.1 Well driller disciplinary procedures will be
conducted informally and are governed by Sections 63G-4-202
(Designation of Adjudicative Proceedings as Informal) and
63G-4-203 (Procedures for Informal Adjudicative Proceedings) of
the Utah Code and by Section R655-6 (Administrative Procedures
for Informal Proceedings Before the Division of Water Rights) of
the Utah Administrative Code.
5.2 List of Infractions and Points.
Licensed well drillers who commit the infractions listed
below in Table 1 shall have assessed against their well drilling
record the number of points assigned to the infraction.
Level I Infractions of Administrative Requirements
Well log submitted late 10
Well abandonment report submitted
Well driller license or well driller
name not clearly posted on well
drilling rig 10
Failing to notify the state engineer
of a change in the well
driller's company name 10
Failure to properly notify the
state engineer before the
proposed start date shown
on the start card 20
Failure to notify the state engineer
of a change of start date 50
Constructing a replacement well
further than 150 ft from the
original well without the
authorization of an approved
change application 50
Failure to drill at the state engineer
approved location as identified
on the start card 50
Removing the well drilling rig from
the well site before completing the
well or temporarily or permanently
abandoning the well 50
Level II Infractions of Administrative Requirements
Employing an operator who is not
registered with the state 75
Contracting out work to an
unlicensed driller (using the
unlicensed driller's rig) without
prior written approval from the state 75
Performing any well drilling activity without
valid authorization (except in
emergency situations) 100
Intentionally making a material
misstatement of fact in an official
well driller's report or amended
official well driller's report
(well log) 100
Level III Infractions of Construction Standards / Conditions
Using a method of drilling not listed
on the well driller's license 30
Failing to comply with any conditions
included on the well approval such as
minimum or maximum depths, specified
locations of perforations, etc. 50
Performing any well construction
activity in violation of a red tag
cease work order 100
Failure to extend well casing at least
18" above ground 30
Failure to install a protective casing
around a PVC well at the surface 50
Using improper casing joints 100
Using or attempting to use sub-standard
well casing 100
Using improper products or procedures
to install a surface seal 100
Failure to seal off artesian flow on
the outside of casing 100
Failure to install surface seal to
adequate depth based on formation type 100
Failure to install interval seals to
eliminate aquifer commingling
or cross contamination 100
Using improper procedures to abandon
a well 100
Using improper products to abandon a
Using water of unacceptable quality
in the well drilling operation 40
Using an unacceptable mud pit 40
Failure to use treated or disinfected
water for drilling processes 40
Using improper circulation materials
or drilling chemicals 100
Failure to disinfect filter pack 40
Failure to install filter pack properly 75
Failure to make well accessible to
water level or pressure head measurements 30
Failure to install casing annular seals,
cap, and valving, and to control
artesian flow 30
Failure to disinfect a well upon
completion of well drilling activity 40
Failure to install a pitless adapter
according to standard 75
Failure to develop and test a well
according to standard 75
Failure to securely cover an
unattended well during construction 30
Failure to engage in well drilling
activity in accordance with accepted
industry practices 100
5.3 When Points Are Assessed.
Points will be assessed against a driller's record
upon verification by the state engineer that an infraction has
occurred. Points will be assessed at the time the state engineer
becomes aware of the infraction regardless of when the infraction
5.4 Appeal of Infractions.
Well drillers may appeal each infraction in writing
within 30 days of written notification by the state
5.5 Warning Letter.
When the number of points assessed against the well
driller's record equals seventy-five (75) points, a warning
letter will be sent to the well driller. The letter will notify
the driller that if he continues to violate the administrative
requirements or minimum construction standards contained in the
Administrative Rules for Water Well Drillers, a hearing will be
held to determine if his license should be suspended or revoked
or the bond exacted. The letter will also describe the options
available to the driller to delete points from the record as
described in Subsection R655-4-5.7. A copy of the driller's
infraction record will be included with the letter. In the event
numerous points are assessed against the well drillers record so
that the total surpasses seventy-five (75) and one hundred (100)
points at the same time, no warning letter will be sent.
5.6 Well Driller Hearings.
5.6.1 When the number of points assessed against the well
driller's record equals 100, a Notice of Agency Action (NAA)
will be sent to the well driller. The NAA will set forth the
alleged facts, provide an opportunity for a response from the
well driller, and provide notice of the hearing scheduled to
consider the issues. The hearing will be scheduled at least 10
days from the date the NAA is mailed. The NAA will indicate the
date, time, and place of the hearing.
5.6.2 A NAA may also be sent and a hearing may also be
convened as a result of a complaint filed by a well owner
regardless of the total number of points shown on the well
5.6.3 A NAA may be sent and a hearing may be convened if
there is evidence that a license or registration application
submitted to the state engineer contains intentionally false or
5.6.4 The purpose of the hearing will be to determine if
disciplinary action is necessary regarding the water well
driller's Utah Water Well License. The hearing will be
recorded. At the hearing, testimony will be taken under oath
regarding the alleged facts included in the NAA. Those providing
testimony may include the water well driller, the well owner,
Division of Water Rights staff, and others as deemed necessary.
Evidence that is pertinent to the alleged facts may also be
presented at the hearing. After considering the testimony and the
evidence presented at the hearing, the State Engineer may
determine either that there is no cause for action against the
well driller's license or that disciplinary action is
5.7 Administrative Penalties.
Administrative penalties ordered against a licensed
driller by the state engineer following a hearing can include
probation, administrative fines, license suspension, and license
revocation. Administrative penalties are ordered based on the
severity of the infraction (Level I, II, III from Table 1 of
Section 5.1) as well as the recurrence of an infraction.
5.7.1 Level I Administrative Penalties: Level I
administrative penalties will be levied against Level I
administrative infractions (see Table 1 of Section 5.1). The
Level I administrative penalty structure is as follows:
22.214.171.124 At the first conviction of Level I infractions,
the disciplinary action for the infractions shall be
126.96.36.199 Second conviction shall result in probation and a
fine at a rate of $2.50 per infraction point.
188.8.131.52 Third conviction shall result in probation and an
elevated fine at a rate of $5.00 per infraction point.
184.108.40.206 Fourth conviction shall result in an elevated
fine at a rate of $10.00 per infraction point and possible
220.127.116.11 Continued and repeated convictions beyond the
fourth conviction may result in an elevated fine at a rate of
$10.00 per infraction point and possible suspension or
18.104.22.168 Fines for late well logs and abandonment logs
shall be calculated separately and added to fines calculated for
other infractions. For late well log infractions, the points
associated with each infraction will be multiplied by a factor
based on the lateness of the well log. The infraction point
multipliers are as follows:
Tardiness of the log Infraction Point Multiplier
1-2 weeks 0.50
2-4 weeks 1.00
1-3 months 1.50
3-6 months 2.00
6-9 months 2.50
9-12 months 3.00
Over 12 months 4.00
5.7.2 Level II Administrative Penalties: Level II
administrative penalties will be levied against Level II
administrative infractions (see Table 2 of Section 5.1). The
Level II administrative penalty structure is as follows:
22.214.171.124 At the first conviction of Level II infractions,
the disciplinary action shall result in probation and a fine at a
rate of $2.50 per infraction point.
126.96.36.199 Second conviction shall result in probation and
an elevated fine at a rate of $5.00 per infraction
188.8.131.52 Third conviction shall result in possible
suspension and an elevated fine at a rate of $10.00 per
184.108.40.206 Continued and repeated convictions beyond the
fourth conviction may result in an elevated fine at a rate of
$10.00 per infraction point and possible suspension or
5.7.3 Level III Administrative Penalties: Level III
administrative penalties will be levied against Level III
construction infractions (see Table 3 of Section 5.1). The Level
III administrative penalty structure is as follows:
220.127.116.11 At the first conviction of Level III infractions,
the disciplinary action shall result in probation and a fine at a
rate of $5.00 per infraction point.
18.104.22.168 Second conviction shall result in possible
suspension and an elevated fine at a rate of $10.00 per
22.214.171.124 Third conviction may result in an elevated fine
at a rate of $10.00 per infraction point and possible suspension
5.7.4 Administrative Penalties - General
126.96.36.199 Penalties will only be imposed as a result of a
well driller hearing.
188.8.131.52 Failure to pay a fine within 30 days from the
date it is assessed will result in the suspension of the well
driller license until the fine is paid.
184.108.40.206 Fines shall be deposited as a dedicated credit.
The state engineer shall expend the money retained from fines for
expenses related to well drilling activity inspection, well
drilling enforcement, and well driller education.
5.7.5 Probation: As described above in Sections 5.7.1,
5.7.2, and 5.7.3, probation will generally be the disciplinary
action imposed in situations where the facts established through
testimony and evidence describe first time infractions of the
administrative rules that are limited in number and less serious
in their impact on the well owner and on the health of the
aquifer. The probation period will generally last until the
number of infraction points on the well driller's record is
reduced below 70 through any of the options described in
5.7.6 Suspension: Suspension will generally be the
disciplinary action imposed in situations where the facts
established through testimony and evidence describe repeated
convictions of the administrative rules, or infractions that a
pose serious threat to the health of the aquifer, or a well
driller's apparent disregard for the administrative rules or
the state's efforts to regulate water well drilling.
Depending upon the number and severity of the rule infractions as
described above in Sections 5.7.1, 5.7.2, and 5.7.3, the state
engineer may elect to suspend a well driller license for a
certain period of time and/or until certain conditions have been
met by the well driller. In establishing the length of the
suspension, the state engineer will generally follow the
guideline that three infraction points is the equivalent of one
day of suspension. A well driller whose license has been
suspended will be prohibited from engaging in regulated well
drilling activity. License suspension may also result in the
exaction of the Well Driller Bond as set forth in Subsection
4-3.7.4. A well driller whose license has been suspended is
allowed to work as a registered operator under the direct,
continuous supervision of a licensed well driller. If the
suspension period extends beyond the expiration date of the water
well driller license, the water well driller may not apply to
renew the license until the suspension period has run and any
conditions have been met. Once the suspension period has run and
once all conditions have been met by the well driller, the
suspension will be lifted and the driller will be notified that
he/she may again engage in the well drilling business. The well
driller will then be placed on probation until the number of
infraction points on the well driller's record is reduced
below 70 through any of the options described in Subsection
5.7.7 Revocation: Revocation will generally be the
disciplinary action imposed in situations where the facts
established through testimony and evidence describe repeated
convictions of the administrative rules for which the well
driller's Utah Water Well License has previously been
suspended. Revocation will also be the disciplinary action taken
if after a hearing the facts establish that a driller knowingly
provided false or misleading information on a driller license
application. A well driller whose license has been revoked will
be prohibited from engaging in regulated well drilling activity.
License revocation may also result in the exaction of the Well
Driller Bond as set forth in Subsection 4-3.7.4. A well driller
whose license has been revoked is allowed to work as a registered
operator under the direct, continuous supervision of a licensed
well driller. A well driller whose water well license has been
revoked may not make application for a new water well license for
a period of two years from the date of revocation. After the
revocation period has run, a well driller may make application
for a new license as provided in Section R655-4-3. However, the
well drilling experience required must be based on new experience
obtained since the license was revoked.
5.8 Deleting Point from the Driller Record.
Points assessed against a well driller's record will
remain on the record unless deleted through any of the following
5.8.1 Points will be deleted three years after the date
when the infraction is noted by the state engineer and the points
are assessed against the driller's record.
5.8.2 One half the points on the record will be deleted
if the well driller is free of infractions for an entire
5.8.3 Thirty (30) points will be deleted for obtaining
six (6) hours of approved continuing education credits in
addition to the credits required to renew the water well
driller's license. A driller may exercise this option only
once each year.
5.8.4 Twenty (20) points will be deleted for taking and
passing (with a minimum score of 70%) the test covering the
administrative requirements and the minimum construction
standards. A driller may exercise this option only every other
5.9 Lack of Knowledge Not an Excuse.
Lack of knowledge of the law or the administrative
requirements and minimum construction standards related to well
drilling shall not constitute an excuse for violation
R655-4-6. Renewal of Well Driller's License and
6.1 Well Driller's Licenses.
6.1.1 Water well driller licenses shall expire and be
renewed according to the following provisions:
a. The licenses of well drillers whose last name begins
with A thru L shall expire at 12 midnight on June 30 of odd
b. The licenses of well drillers whose last name begins
with M thru Z shall expire at 12 midnight on June 30 of even
c. Drillers who meet the renewal requirements set forth
in Subsection R655-4-6(6.1.2) on or before the expiration
deadlines set forth in Subsection R655-4-6(6.1.1) shall be
authorized to operate as a licensed well driller until the new
license is issued.
d. Drillers must renew their licenses within 24 months of
the license expiration date. Drillers failing to renew within 24
months of the license expiration date must re-apply for a well
driller's license, meet all the application requirements of
Subsection R655-4-3(3.2), and provide documentation of 12 hours
of continuing education according to the requirements of R655-4-6
(6.2) obtained within the previous 24 months.
6.1.2 Applications to renew a well driller's license
must include the following items:
a. Payment of the license renewal fee determined and
approved by the legislature;
b. Written application to the state engineer;
c. Documentation of continuing well driller bond coverage
in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) penal bond for
the next licensing period calendar year. The form and conditions
of well driller bond shall be as set forth in Section 4.3.
Allowable documentation can include bond continuation
certificates and CD statements;
d. Proper submission of all start cards, official well
driller reports (well logs), and well abandonment reports for the
current licensing period;
e. Documentation of compliance with the continuing
education requirements described in Section 6.2.1. Acceptable
documentation of attendance at approved courses must include the
following information: the name of the course, the date it was
conducted, the number of approved credits, the name and signature
of the instructor and the driller's name; for example,
certificates of completion, transcripts, attendance rosters,
diplomas, etc. (Note: drillers are advised that the state
engineer will not keep track of the continuing education courses
each driller attends during the year. Drillers are responsible to
acquire and then submit documentation with the renewal
6.1.3 License renewal applications that do not meet the
requirements of Subsection R655-5-6(6.1.2) by June 30 of the
expiration year or which are received after June 30 of the
expiration year, will be assessed an additional administrative
late fee determined and approved by the legislature.
6.1.4 The state engineer may renew a license on a
restricted, conditional, or limited basis according to the
driller's performance and compliance with established rules
and construction standards. The state engineer my refuse to renew
a license to a well driller if it appears that there has been a
violation of these rules or a failure to comply with Section
73-3-25 of the Utah Code.
6.2 Continuing Education.
6.2.1 During each license period, licensed well drillers
are required to earn at least twelve (12) continuing education
credits by attending training sessions sponsored or sanctioned by
the state engineer. Drillers who do not renew their licenses, but
who intend to renew within the following 24 month period allowed
in Section 6.1.1, are also required to earn twelve (12)
continuing education credits.
6.2.2 The state engineer shall establish a committee
consisting of the state engineer or a representative, no more
than four licensed well drillers, a ground water scientist, and a
manufacturer/supplier of well drilling products. The committee
will develop criteria for the training courses, approve the
courses which can offer continuing education credits, and assign
the number of credits to each course. The committee will make
recommendations to the state engineer concerning appeals from
training course sponsors and well drillers related to earning
continuing education credit.
6.2.3 The committee established in Section 6.2.2 shall
assign the number of continuing education credits to each
proposed training session based on the instructor's
qualifications, a written outline of the subjects to be covered,
and written objectives for the session. Well drillers wishing
continuing education credit for other training sessions shall
provide the committee with all information it needs to assign
continuing education requirements.
6.2.4 Licensed drillers must complete a State
Engineer-sponsored "Administrative Rules for Well
Drillers" review course or other approved rules review once
every four (4) years.
6.2.5 CE credits cannot be carried over from one
licensing period to another.
6.3 Drill Rig Operator's Registration.
6.3.1 All operator's registrations shall expire at
the same time as the license of the well driller by whom they are
employed. Operators who meet the renewal requirements set forth
in Subsection R655-4-6(6.3.2) on or before 12 midnight June 30 of
the expiration year shall be authorized to act as a registered
operator until the new registration is issued. Operators must
renew their registrations within 24 months of the registration
expiration date. Operators failing to renew within 24 months of
the registration expiration date must re-apply for an
operator's registration and meet all the application
requirements of Subsection R655-4-3(3.3).
6.3.2 Applications to renew an operator's
registration must include the following items:
a. Payment of the registration renewal fee determined and
approved by the legislature;
b. Written application to the state engineer.
6.3.3 Registration renewal applications that do not meet
the requirements of Subsection R655-4-6(6.3.2) by the June 30
expiration date or that are received after the June 30 expiration
date will be assessed an additional administrative late fee
determined and approved by the legislature.
R655-4-7. The Approval Process for Non-Production Wells.
Regulated non-production wells such as cathodic
protection wells, heating or cooling exchange wells, and monitor
wells drilled and constructed to a depth greater than 30 feet
below natural ground surface require approval from the state
7.2 Approval to Construct or Replace.
Approval to construct or replace non-production wells is
issued by the state engineer's regional offices following
review of written requests from the owner or applicant, federal
or state agency or engineering representative. The requests for
approval shall be made on forms provided by the state engineer
entitled "Request for Non-Production Well
Construction". The following information must be included on
a. General location or common description of the
b. Specific course and distance locations from
established government surveyed outside section corners or
c. Total anticipated number of wells to be
d. Diameters, approximate depths and materials used in
e. Projected start and completion dates.
f. Name and license number of the driller contracted to
install the wells.
There is no fee required to request approval to drill a
non-production wells. Upon written approval by the state
engineer, the project will be assigned an approved non-production
well number which will be referenced on all start cards and
official well driller's reports.
R655-4-8. General Requirements.
8.1.1 In some locations, the compliance with the
following minimum standards will not result in a well being free
from pollution or from being a source of subsurface leakage,
waste, or contamination of the groundwater resource. Since it is
impractical to attempt to prepare standards for every conceivable
situation, the well driller shall judge when to construct wells
under more stringent standards when such precautions are
necessary to protect the groundwater supply and those using the
well in question. Other state and local regulations pertaining to
well drilling and construction, groundwater protection, and water
quality regulations may exist that are either more stringent than
these rules or that specifically apply to a given situation. It
is the well driller's responsibility to understand and apply
other regulations as applicable.
8.2 Well Site Locations.
8.2.1 Well site locations are described by course and
distance from outside section corners or quarter corners (based
on a Section/Township/Range Cadastral System) and by the
Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinate system on all
state engineer authorizations to drill (Start Cards). However,
the licensee should also be familiar with local zoning
ordinances, or county boards of health requirements which may
limit or restrict the actual well location and construction in
relationship to property/structure boundaries and existing or
proposed concentrated sources of pollution or contamination such
as septic tanks, drain fields, sewer lines, stock corrals, feed
lots, etc. The licensee should also be familiar with the Utah
Underground Facilities Act (Title 54, Chapter 8a of the Utah Code
Annotated 1953 as amended) which requires subsurface excavators
(including well drilling) to notify operators of underground
utilities prior to any subsurface excavation. Information on this
requirement can be found by calling (800)662-4111.
8.2.2 Regulated wells shall be drilled at the approved
location as defined on the valid start card. The driller shall
check the drilling location to see if it matches the
state-approved location listed on the Driller's Start
8.3 Unusual Conditions.
8.3.1 If unusual conditions occur at a well site and
compliance with these rules and standards will not result in a
satisfactory well or protection to the groundwater supply, a
licensed water well driller shall request that special standards
be prescribed for a particular well. The request for special
standards shall be in writing and shall set forth the location of
the well, the name of the owner, the unusual conditions existing
at the well site, the reasons that compliance with the rules and
minimum standards will not result in a satisfactory well, and the
proposed standards that the licensed water well driller believes
will be more adequate for this particular well. If the state
engineer finds that the proposed changes are in the best interest
of the public, he will approve the proposed changes by assigning
special standards for the particular well under
R655-4-9. Well Drilling and Construction Requirements.
9.0.1 Figures 1 through 5 are used to illustrate typical
well construction standards, and can be viewed in the State of
Utah Water Well Handbook available at the Division of Water
Rights, 1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. Figure 1
illustrates the typical construction of a drilled well with
driven casing such as a well drilled using the cable tool method
or air rotary with a drill-through casing driver. Figure 2
illustrates the typical construction of a well drilled with an
oversized borehole and/or gravel packed without the use of
surface casing. Figure 3 illustrates the typical construction of
a well drilled with an oversized borehole and/or gravel packed
with the use of surface casing. Figure 4 illustrates the typical
construction of a well drilled with an oversized borehole and/or
gravel packed completed in stratified formations in which poor
formation material or poor quality water is encountered. Figure 5
illustrates the typical construction of a well completed with PVC
or nonmetallic casing.
9.1 Approved Products, Materials, and
9.1.1 Any product, material or procedure designed for use
in the drilling, construction, cleaning, renovation, development
or abandonment of water or monitor wells, which has received
certification and approval for its intended use by the National
Sanitation Foundation (NSF) under ANSI/NSF Standard 60 or 61, the
American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), the American Water
Works Association (AWWA) or the American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) may be utilized. Other products, materials or
procedures may also be utilized for their intended purpose upon
manufacturers certification that they meet or exceed the
standards or certifications referred to in this section and upon
state engineer approval.
9.2 Well Casing - General
9.2.1 Drillers Responsibility. It shall be the sole
responsibility of the well driller to determine the suitability
of any type of well casing for the particular well being
constructed, in accordance with these minimum
9.2.2 Casing Stick-up. The well casing shall extend a
minimum of 18 inches above finished ground level and the natural
ground surface should slope away from the casing. A secure
sanitary, weatherproof seal or a completely welded cap shall be
placed on the top of the well casing to prevent contamination of
the well. If a vent is placed in the cap, it shall be properly
screened to prevent access to the well by debris, insects, or
9.2.3 Steel Casing. All steel casing installed in Utah
shall be in new or like-new condition, being free from pits or
breaks, clean with all potentially dangerous chemicals or
coatings removed, and shall meet the minimum specifications
listed in Table 5 of these rules. In order to utilize steel well
casing that does not fall within the categories specified in
Table 5, the driller shall receive written approval from the
state engineer. All steel casing installed in Utah shall meet or
exceed the minimum ASTM, ANSI, or AWWA standards for steel pipe
as described in Subsection 9.1 unless otherwise approved by the
state engineer. Applicable standards (most recent revisions) may
ANSI/AWWA A100-AWWA Standard for Water Wells.
ANSI/ASTM A53-Standard Specifications for Pipe, Steel,
Black and Hot-Dipped, Zinc-Coated, Welded and Seamless.
ANSI/ASTM A139-Standard Specification for Electric-Fusion
(Arc)-Welded Steel Pipe (NPS 4 and over).
ANSI/AWWA C200-Standard for Steel Water Pipe-6 in. and
API Spec.5L-Specification for Liner Pipe.
ASTM A106-Standard Specification for Seamless Carbon
Steel Pipe for High Temperature Service
ASTM A778-Standard Specifications for Welded, Unannealed
Austenitic Stainless Steel Tubular Products.
ASTM A252-Standard Specification for Welded and Seamless
Steel Pipe Piles.
ASTM A312-Standard Specification for Seamless, Welded,
and Heavily Cold Worked Austenitic Stainless Steel Pipes
MINIMUM WALL THICKNESS FOR STEEL WELL CASING
0 200 300 400 600 800 1000 1500
Nominal to to to to to to to to
Casing 200 300 400 600 800 1000 1500 2000
Diameter (ft) (ft) (ft) (ft) (ft) (ft) (ft) (ft)
2 .154 .154 .154 .154 .154 .154
3 .216 .216 .216 .216 .216 .216
4 .237 .237 .237 .237 .237 .237 .237 .237
5 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250
6 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250
8 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250
10 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .312 .312
12 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .250 .312 .312
14 .250 .250 .250 .250 .312 .312 .312 .312
16 .250 .250 .312 .312 .312 .312 .375 .375
18 .250 .312 .312 .312 .375 .375 .375 .438
20 .250 .312 .312 .312 .375 .375 .375 .438
22 .312 .312 .312 .375 .375 .375 .375 .438
24 .312 .312 .375 .375 .375 .438
30 .312 .375 .375 .438 .438 .500
Note: Minimum wall thickness is in inches.
9.2.4 Plastic and Other Non-metallic Casing.
220.127.116.11 Materials. PVC, SR, ABS, or other types of
non-metallic well casing and screen may be installed in Utah upon
obtaining permission of the well owner. Plastic well casing and
screen shall be manufactured and installed to conform with The
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the American
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard F 480-95, which
are incorporated by reference to these rules. Casing and screen
meeting this standard is normally marked "WELL CASING"
and with the ANSI/ASTM designation "F 480-95, SDR-17 (or
13.5, 21, etc.)". All plastic casing and screen for use in
potable water supplies shall be manufactured to be acceptable to
the American National Standards Institute/National Sanitation
Foundation (NSF) standard 61. Other types of plastic casings and
screens may be installed upon manufacturers certification that
such casing meets or exceeds the above described ASTM/SDR
specification or ANSI/NSF approval and upon state engineer
18.104.22.168 Minimum Wall Thickness and Depth Requirements.
PVC well casing and screen with an outside diameter equal to or
less than four and one half (4.5) inches shall meet the minimum
wall thickness required under ASTM Standard F480-95 SDR 21 or a
Schedule 40 designation. PVC well casing and screen with an
outside diameter greater than four and one half (4.5) inches
shall meet the minimum wall thickness required under ASTM
Standard F480-95 SDR 17 or a Schedule 80 designation.
Additionally, caution should be used whenever other than factory
slots or perforations are added to PVC well casing. The
installation of hand cut slots or perforations significantly
reduces the collapse strength tolerances of unaltered casings.
The depth at which plastic casing and screen is placed in a well
shall conform to the minimum requirements and restrictions as
outlined in ASTM Standard F-480-95.
22.214.171.124 Fiberglass Casing. Fiberglass reinforced plastic
well casings and screens may be installed in wells upon obtaining
permission of the well owner. All fiberglass casing or screens
installed in wells for use in potable water supplies shall be
manufactured to be acceptable by ANSI/NSF Standard 61 and upon
state engineer approval.
126.96.36.199 Driving Non-metallic Casing. Non-metallic casing
shall not be driven or dropped and may only be installed in an
188.8.131.52 Protective Casing. If plastic or other
non-metallic casing is utilized, the driller shall install a
protective steel casing which complies with the provisions of
Subsection 9.2.3 or an equivalent protective covering approved by
the state engineer over and around the well casing at ground
surface to a depth of at least two and one half (2.5) feet. If a
pitless adapter is installed on the well, the bottom of the
protective cover shall be placed above the pitless adapter/well
connection. If the pitless adapter is placed in the protective
casing, the protective casing shall extend below the pitless
entrance in the well casing and be sealed both on the outside of
the protective casing and between the protective casing and well
casing. The protective cover shall be sealed in the borehole in
accordance with the requirements of Subsection 9.4. The annular
space between the protective cover and non-metallic casing shall
also be sealed with acceptable materials in accordance with
Subsection 9.4. A sanitary, weather-tight seal or a completely
welded cap shall be placed on top of the protective cover, thus
enclosing the well itself. If the sanitary seal is vented,
screens shall be placed in the vent to prevent debris insects,
and other animals from entering the well. This protective casing
requirement does not apply to monitor wells. Figure 5 depicts
9.3 Casing Joints.
9.3.1 General. All well casing joints shall be made water
tight. In instances in which a reduction in casing diameter is
made, there shall be enough overlap of the casings to prevent
misalignment and to insure the making of an adequate seal in the
annular space between casings to prevent the movement of unstable
sediment or formation material into the well, in addition to
preventing the degradation of the water supply by the migration
of inferior quality water through the annular space between the
9.3.2 Steel Casing. All steel casing shall be
screw-coupled or welded. If the joints are welded, the weld shall
be at least as thick as the wall thickness of the casing and
shall consist of at least two beads for the full circumference of
the joint. Spot welding of joints is prohibited.
9.3.3 Plastic Casing. All plastic well casing shall be
mechanically screw coupled, chemically welded, cam-locked or lug
coupled to provide water tight joints as per ANSI/ASTM F480-95.
Metal screws driven into casing joints shall not be long enough
to penetrate the inside surface of the casing. Metal screws
should be used only when surrounding air temperatures are below
50 degrees Fahrenheit (F) which retards the normal setting of the
9.4 Surface Seals and Interval Seals.
9.4.1 General. Before the drill rig is removed from the
drill site of a well, a surface seal shall be installed. Well
casings shall be sealed to prevent the possible downward movement
of contaminated surface waters in the annular space around the
well casing. The seal shall also prevent the upward movement of
artesian waters within the annular space around the well casing.
Depending upon hydrogeologic conditions around the well, interval
seals may need to be installed to prevent the movement of
groundwater either upward or downward around the well from zones
that have been cased out of the well due to poor water quality or
other reasons. The following surface and interval seal
requirements apply equally to rotary drilled, cable tool drilled,
bored, jetted, augered, and driven wells unless otherwise
9.4.2 Seal Material.
184.108.40.206 General. The seal material shall consist of neat
cement grout, sand cement grout, unhydrated bentonite, or
bentonite grout as defined in Section R655-4-2. Use of sealing
materials other than those listed above must be approved by the
state engineer. Bentonite drilling fluid (drilling mud), dry
drilling bentonite, or drill cuttings are not an acceptable
sealing material. In no case shall drilling fluid (mud), drill
cuttings, drill chips, or puddling clay be used, or allowed to
fill, partially fill, or fall into the required sealing interval
of a well during construction of the well. All hydrated sealing
materials (neat cement grout, sand cement grout, bentonite grout)
shall be placed by tremie pipe, pumping, or pressure from the
bottom of the seal interval upwards in one continuous operation
when placed below a depth of 30 feet or when placed below static
groundwater level. Portland Cement grouts must be allowed to cure
a minimum of 72 hours for Type I-II cement or 36 hours for Type
III cement before well drilling, construction, or testing may be
resumed. The volume of annular space in the seal interval shall
be calculated by the driller to determine the estimated volume of
seal material required to seal the annular space. The driller
shall place at least the volume of material equal to the volume
of annular space, thus ensuring that a continuous seal is placed.
The driller shall maintain the well casing centered in the
borehole during seal placement using centralizers or other means
to ensure that the seal is placed radially and vertically
220.127.116.11 Bentonite Grout. Bentonite used to prepare grout
for sealing shall have the ability to gel; not separate into
water and solid materials after it gels; have a hydraulic
conductivity or permeability value of 10E-7 centimeters per
second or less; contain at least 20 percent solids by weight of
bentonite, and have a fluid weight of 9.5 pounds per gallon or
greater and be specifically designed for the purpose of sealing.
Bentonite or polymer drilling fluid (mud) does not meet the
definition of a grout with respect to density, gel strength, and
solids content and shall not be used for sealing purposes. At no
time shall bentonite grout contain materials that are toxic,
polluting, develop odor or color changes, or serve as a
micro-bacterial nutrient. All bentonite grout shall be prepared
and installed according to the manufacturer's instructions
and these rules. All additives must be certified by a recognized
certification authority such as NSF and approved by the state
18.104.22.168 Unhydrated Bentonite. Unhydrated bentonite (e.g.,
granular, tabular, pelletized, or chip bentonite) may be used in
the construction of well seals above a depth of 50 feet.
Unhydrated bentonite can be placed below a depth of 50 feet when
placed inside the annulus of two casings, when placed using a
tremie pipe, or by using a placement method approved by the state
engineer. The bentonite material shall be specifically designed
for well sealing and be within industry tolerances. All
unhydrated bentonite used for sealing must be free of organic
polymers and other contamination. Placement of bentonite shall
conform to the manufacturer's specifications and instructions
and result in a seal free of voids or bridges. Granular or
powdered bentonite shall not be placed under water by gravity
feeding from the surface. When placing unhydrated bentonite, a
sounding or tamping tool shall be run in the sealing interval
during pouring to measure fill-up rate, verify a continuous seal
placement, and to break up possible bridges or cake
9.4.3 Seal and Unperforated Casing Placement.
22.214.171.124 General Seal Requirements. Figure 1 illustrates
the construction of a surface seal for a typical well. The
surface seal must be placed in an annular space that has a
minimum diameter of four (4) inches larger than the nominal size
of the permanent well casing (This amounts to a 2-inch annulus).
The surface seal must extend from land surface to a minimum depth
of 30 feet. The completed surface seal must fully surround the
permanent well casing, must be evenly distributed, free of voids,
and extend to undisturbed or recompacted soil. In unconsolidated
formations such as gravels, sands, or other unstable conditions
when the use of drilling fluid or other means of keeping the
borehole open are not employed, either a temporary surface casing
with a minimum depth of 30 feet and a minimum nominal diameter of
four (4) inches greater than the outermost permanent casing shall
be utilized to ensure proper seal placement or the well driller
shall notify the state engineer's office that the seal will
be placed in a potentially unstable open borehole without a
temporary surface casing by telephone or FAX in conjunction with
the start card submittal in order to provide an opportunity for
the state engineer's office to inspect the placement of the
seal. If a temporary surface casing is utilized, the surface
casing shall be removed in conjunction with the placement of the
seal. Alternatively, conductor casing may be sealed permanently
in place to a depth of 30 feet with a minimum 2-inch annular seal
between the surface casing and borehole wall. If the temporary
surface casing is to be removed, the surface casing shall be
withdrawn as sealing material is placed between the outer-most
permanent well casing and borehole wall. The sealing material
shall be kept at a sufficient height above the bottom of the
temporary surface casing as it is withdrawn to prevent caving of
the borehole wall. If the temporary conductor casing is driven in
place without a 2-inch annular seal between the surface casing
and borehole wall, the surface casing may be left in place in the
borehole only if it is impossible to remove because of unforeseen
conditions and not because of inadequate drilling equipment, or
if the removal will seriously jeopardize the integrity of the
well and the integrity of subsurface barriers to pollutants or
contaminant movement. The temporary surface casing can only be
left in place without a sufficient 2-inch annular seal as
describe above with the approval of the state engineer on a case
by case basis. If the surface casing is left in place, it shall
be perforated to allow seal material to penetrate through the
casing and into the formation and annular space between the
surface casing and borehole wall. Unhydrated bentonite shall not
be used to construct the surface seal when the surface casing is
left in place. Grout seal materials must be used to construct the
surface seal when the surface casing is left in place. The grout
must be placed with sufficient pressure to force the grout
through the surface casing perforations and into the annular
space between the surface casing and borehole wall and into the
formation. Surface seals and unperforated casing shall be
installed in wells located in unconsolidated formation such as
sand and gravel with minor clay or confining units;
unconsolidated formation consisting of stratified layers of
materials such as sand, gravel, and clay or other confining
units; and consolidated formations according to the following
126.96.36.199 Unconsolidated Formation without Significant
Confining Units. This includes wells that penetrate an aquifer
overlain by unconsolidated formations such as sand and gravel
without significant clay beds (at least six feet thick) or other
confining formations. The surface seal must be placed in a 2-inch
annular space to a minimum depth of 30 feet. Permanent
unperforated casing shall extend at least to a depth of 30 feet
and also extend below the lowest anticipated pumping level.
Additional casing placed in the open borehole below the required
depths noted above shall meet the casing requirements of
Subsection 9.2 unless the casing is installed as a liner inside a
larger diameter approved casing.
188.8.131.52 Unconsolidated Formation with Significant
Confining Units. This includes wells that penetrate an aquifer
overlain by clay or other confining formations that are at least
six (6) feet thick. The surface seal must be placed in a 2-inch
annular space to a minimum depth of 30 feet and at least five (5)
feet into the confining unit above the water bearing formation.
Unperforated casing shall extend from ground surface to at least
30 feet and to the bottom of the confining unit overlying the
water bearing formation. If necessary to complete the well, a
smaller diameter casing, liner, or well screen may be installed
below the unperforated casing. The annular space between the two
casings shall be sealed with grout, bentonite, or a mechanical
packer. Additional casing placed in the open borehole below the
required depths noted above shall meet the casing requirements of
Subsection 9.2 unless the casing is installed as a liner inside a
larger diameter approved casing.
184.108.40.206 Consolidated Formation. This includes drilled
wells that penetrate an aquifer, either within or overlain by a
consolidated formation. The surface seal must be placed in a
2-inch annular space to a minimum depth of 30 feet and at least
five (5) feet into competent consolidated formation. Unperforated
permanent casing shall be installed to extend to a depth of at
least 30 feet and the lower part of the casing shall be driven
and sealed at least five (5) feet into the consolidated
formation. If necessary to complete the well, a smaller diameter
casing, liner, or well screen may be installed below the
unperforated casing. The annular space between the two casings
shall be sealed with grout, bentonite, or a mechanical packer.
Additional casing placed in the open borehole below the required
depths noted above shall meet the casing requirements of
Subsection 9.2 unless the casing is installed as a liner inside a
larger diameter approved casing.
220.127.116.11 Sealing Artesian Wells. Unperforated well casing
shall extend into the confining stratum overlying the artesian
zone, and shall be adequately sealed into the confining stratum
to prevent both surface and subsurface leakage from the artesian
zone. If leaks occur around the well casing or adjacent to the
well, the well shall be completed with the seals, packers, or
casing necessary to eliminate the leakage. The driller shall not
move the drilling rig from the well site until leakage is
completely stopped, unless authority for temporary removal of the
drilling rig is granted by the state engineer, or when loss of
life or property is imminent. If the well flows naturally at land
surface due to artesian pressure, the well shall be equipped with
a control valve so that the flow can be completely stopped. The
control valve must be available for inspection by the state
engineer at all times.
9.4.4 Interval Seals. Formations containing undesirable
materials (e.g., fine sand and silt that can damage pumping
equipment and result in turbid water), contaminated groundwater,
or poor quality groundwater must be sealed off so that the
unfavorable formation cannot contribute to the performance and
quality of the well. These zones must also be sealed to eliminate
the potential of cross contamination or commingling between two
aquifers of differing quality. Figure 4 illustrates this
situation. Unless approved by the state engineer, construction of
wells that cause the commingling or cross connection of otherwise
separate aquifers is not allowed.
9.4.5 Other Sealing Methods. In wells where the
above-described methods of well sealing do not apply, special
sealing procedures can be approved by the state engineer upon
written request by the licensed well driller.
9.5 Special Requirements for Oversized and Gravel Packed
Wells. This section applies to wells in which casing is installed
in an open borehole without driving or drilling in the casing and
an annular space is left between the borehole wall and well
casing (e.g., mud rotary wells, flooded reverse circulation
wells, air rotary wells in open bedrock).
9.5.1 Oversized Borehole. The diameter of the borehole
shall be at least four (4) inches larger than the outside
diameter of the well casing to be installed to allow for proper
placement of the gravel pack and/or formation stabilizer and
adequate clearance for grouting and surface seal installations.
In order to accept a smaller diameter casing in any oversized
borehole penetrating unconsolidated or stratified formations, the
annular space must be sealed in accordance with Subsection 9.4.
In order to minimize the risk of: 1) borehole caving or collapse;
2) casing failure or collapse; or 3) axial distortion of the
casing, it is recommended that the entire annular space in an
oversized borehole between the casing and borehole wall be filled
with formation stabilizer such as approved seal material, gravel
pack, filter material or other state engineer-approved materials.
Well casing placed in an oversized borehole should be suspended
at the ground surface until all formation stabilizer material is
placed in order to reduce axial distortion of the casing if it is
allowed to rest on the bottom of an open oversized borehole. In
order to accept a smaller diameter casing, the annular space in
an oversized borehole penetrating unconsolidated formations (with
no confining layer) must be sealed in accordance with Subsection
9.4 to a depth of at least 30 feet or from static water level to
ground surface, whichever is deeper. The annular space in an
oversized borehole penetrating stratified or consolidated
formations must be sealed in accordance with Subsection 9.4 to a
depth of at least 30 feet or five (5) feet into an impervious
strata (e.g., clay) or competent consolidated formation overlying
the water producing zones back to ground surface, whichever is
deeper. Especially in the case of an oversized borehole, the
requirements of Subsection 9.4.4 regarding interval sealing must
9.5.2 Gravel Pack or Filter Material. The gravel pack or
filter material shall consist of clean, well-rounded, chemically
stable grains that are smooth and uniform. The filter material
should not contain more than 2% by weight of thin, flat, or
elongated pieces and should not contain organic impurities or
contaminants of any kind. In order to assure that no
contamination is introduced into the well via the gravel pack,
the gravel pack must be washed with a minimum 100 ppm solution of
chlorinated water or dry hypochlorite mixed with the gravel pack
at the surface before it is introduced into the well (see Table 6
of these rules for required amount of chlorine
9.5.3 Placement of Filter Material. All filter material
shall be placed using a method that through common usage has been
shown to minimize a) bridging of the material between the
borehole and the casing, and b) excessive segregation of the
material after it has been introduced into the annulus and before
it settles into place. It is not acceptable to place filter
material by pouring from the ground surface unless proper
sounding devices are utilized to measure dynamic filter depth,
evaluate pour rate, and minimize bridging and formation of
9.5.4 No Surface Casing Used. If no permanent conductor
casing is installed, neat cement grout, sand cement grout,
bentonite grout, or unhydrated bentonite seal shall be installed
in accordance with Subsection 9.4. Figure 2 of these rules
illustrates the construction of a typical well of this
9.5.5 Permanent Conductor Casing Used. If permanent
conductor casing is installed, it shall be unperforated and
installed and sealed in accordance with Subsection 9.4 as
depicted in Figure 3 of these rules. After the gravel pack has
been installed between the conductor casing and the well casing,
the annular space between the two casings shall be sealed by
either welding a water-tight steel cap between the two casings at
land surface or filling the annular space between the two casings
with neat cement grout, sand cement grout, bentonite grout, or
unhydrated bentonite from at least 50 feet to the surface and in
accordance with Subsection 9.4. If a hole will be created in the
permanent conductor casing in order to install a pitless adapter
into the well casing, the annual space between the conductor
casing and well casing shall be sealed to at least a depth of
thirty (30) feet with neat cement grout, sand cement grout,
bentonite grout, or unhydrated bentonite. A waterproof cap or
weld ring sealing the two casings at the surface by itself
without the annular seal between the two casings is unacceptable
when a pitless adapter is installed in this fashion. Moreover in
this case, the annular space between the surface casing and well
casing must be at least 2 inches in order to facilitate seal
9.5.6 Gravel Feed Pipe. If a gravel feed pipe, used to
add gravel to the gravel pack after well completion, is
installed, the diameter of the borehole in the sealing interval
must be at least four (4) inches in diameter greater than the
permanent casing plus the diameter of the gravel feed pipe. The
gravel feed pipe must be completely surrounded by the seal. The
gravel feed pipe must extend at least 18 inches above ground and
must be sealed at the top with a watertight cap or plug (see
9.6 Protection of the Aquifer.
9.6.1 Drilling Fluids and LCMs. The well driller shall
take due care to protect the producing aquifer from clogging or
contamination. Organic substances shall not be introduced into
the well or borehole during drilling or construction. Every
effort shall be made to remove all substances and materials
introduced into the aquifer or aquifers during well construction.
"Substances and materials" shall mean all drilling
fluids, filter cake, and any other inorganic substances added to
the drilling fluid that may seal or clog the aquifer. The
introduction of lost circulation materials (LCM's) during the
drilling process shall be limited to those products which will
not present a potential medium for bacterial growth or
contamination. Only LCM's which are non-organic, which can be
safely broken down and removed from the borehole, may be
utilized. This is especially important in the construction of
wells designed to be used as a public water system
9.6.2 Containment of Drilling Fluid. Drilling or
circulating fluid introduced into the drilling process shall be
contained in a manner to prevent surface or subsurface
contamination and to prevent degradation of natural or man-made
water courses or impoundments. Rules regarding the discharges to
waters of the state are promulgated under R317-8-2 of the Utah
Administrative Code and regulated by the Utah Division of Water
Quality (Tel. 801-536-6146). Pollution of waters of the state is
a violation of the Utah Water Quality Act, Utah Code Annotated
Title 19, Chapter 5.
9.6.3 Mineralized, Contaminated or Polluted Water.
Whenever a water bearing stratum that contains nonpotable
mineralized, contaminated or polluted water is encountered, the
stratum shall be adequately sealed off so that contamination or
co-mingling of the overlying or underlying groundwater zones will
not occur (see Figure 4).
9.6.4 Drilling Equipment. All tools, drilling equipment,
and materials used to drill a well shall be free of contaminants
prior to beginning well construction. Contaminants include
lubricants, fuel, bacteria, etc. that will reduce the well
efficiency, and any other item(s) that will be harmful to public
health and/or the resource or reduce the life of the water well.
It is recommended that excess lubricants placed on drilling
equipment be wiped clean prior to insertion into the
9.6.5 Well Disinfection and Chlorination of Water. No
contaminated or untreated water shall be placed in a well during
construction. Water should be obtained from a chlorinated
municipal system. Where this is not possible, the water must be
treated to give 100 parts per million free chlorine residual.
Upon completion of a well or work on a well, the driller shall
disinfect the well using accepted disinfection procedures to give
100 parts per million free chlorine residual equally distributed
in the well water from static level to the bottom of the well. A
chlorine solution designated for potable water use prepared with
either calcium hypochlorite (powdered, granular, or tablet form)
or sodium hypochlorite in liquid form shall be used for water
well disinfection. Off-the-shelf chlorine compounds intended for
home laundry use, pool or fountain use should not be used if they
contain additives such as antifungal agents, silica
("Ultra" brands), scents, etc. Table 6 provides the
amount of chlorine compound required per 100 gallons of water or
100 feet linear casing volume of water to mix a 100 parts per
million solution. Disinfection situations not depicted in Table 6
must be approved by the state engineer. Additional
recommendations and guidelines for water well system disinfection
are available from the state engineer upon request.
AMOUNT OF CHLORINE COMPOUND FOR EACH 100 FEET OF WATER
STANDING IN WELL (100 ppm solution)
Well Ca-HyCLT* Ca-HyCLT Na-HyCLT** Liquid CL***
Diameter (25% HOCL) (65% HOCL) (12-trade %) (100% Cl2)
(inches) (ounces) (ounces) (fluid ounces) (lbs)
2 1.00 0.50 3.5 0.03
4 3.50 1.50 7.0 0.06
6 8.00 3.00 16.0 0.12
8 14.50 5.50 28.0 0.22
10 22.50 8.50 45.0 0.34
12 32.50 12.00 64.0 0.50
14 44.50 16.50 88.0 0.70
16 58.00 26.00 112 0.88
20 90.50 33.00 179 1.36
For every 100
gal. of water
add: 5.50 2.00 11.5 0.09
NOTES: *Calcium Hypochlorite (solid)
**Sodium Hypochlorite (liquid)
9.7 Special Requirements.
9.7.1 Explosives. Explosives used in well construction
shall not be detonated within the section of casing designed or
expected to serve as the surface seal of the completed well,
whether or not the surface seal has been placed. If explosives
are used in the construction of a well, their use shall be
reported on the official well log. In no case shall explosives,
other than explosive shot perforators specifically designed to
perforate steel casing, be detonated inside the well casing or
9.7.2 Access Port. Every well shall be equipped with a
usable access port so that the position of the water level, or
pressure head, in the well can be measured at all times.
9.7.3 Completion or Abandonment. A licensed driller shall
not remove his drill rig from a well site unless the well is
completed or abandoned. Completion of a well shall include all
surface seals, gravel packs or curbs required. Dry boreholes, or
otherwise unsuccessful attempts at completing a well, shall be
properly abandoned in accordance with Section R655-4-12. Upon
completion, all wells shall be equipped with a watertight,
tamper-resistant casing cap or sanitary seal.
9.7.4 Surface Security. If it becomes necessary for the
driller to temporarily discontinue the drilling operation before
completion of the well or otherwise leave the well or borehole
unattended, the well and/or borehole must be covered securely to
prevent contaminants from entering the casing or borehole and
rendered secure against entry by children, vandals, domestic
animals, and wildlife.
9.7.5 Pitless Adapters. Pitless adapters or units are
acceptable to use with steel well casing as long as they are
installed in accordance with manufacturers recommendations and
specifications. The pitless adaptor, including the cap or cover,
casing extension, and other attachments, must be so designed and
constructed to be water tight and to prevent contamination of the
potable water supply from external sources. Pitless adapters or
units are not recommended to be mounted on PVC well casing. If a
pitless adapter is to be used with PVC casing, it should be
designed for use with PVC casing, and the driller should ensure
that the weight of the pump and column do not exceed the strength
of the PVC well casing.
9.7.6 Hydraulic Fracturing. The hydraulic fracturing
pressure shall be transmitted through a drill string and shall
not be transmitted to the well casing. Hydraulic fracturing
intervals shall be at least 20 feet below the bottom of the
permanent casing of a well. All hydraulic fracturing equipment
shall be thoroughly disinfected with a 100 part per million
chlorine solution prior to insertion into the well. The driller
shall include the appropriate hydraulic fracturing information on
the well log including methods, materials, maximum pressures,
location of packers, and initial/final yields.
9.7.7 Static Water Level, Well Development, and Well
Yield. To fulfill the requirements of Subsection R655-4-4.5.2,
new wells designed to produce water shall be developed to remove
drill cuttings, drilling mud, or other materials introduced into
the well during construction and to restore the natural
groundwater flow to the well to the extent possible. After a
water production well is developed, a test should be performed to
determine the rate at which groundwater can be reliably produced
from the well. Following development and testing, the static
water level in the well should also be measured. Static water
level, well development information, and well yield information
shall be noted on the official submittal of the Well Log by the
R655-4-10. Special Wells.
10.1 Construction Standards for Special Wells.
10.1.1 General. The construction standards outlined in
Section R655-4-9 are meant to serve as minimum acceptable
construction standards. Certain types of wells such as cathodic
protection wells, heating or cooling exchange wells, recharge and
recovery wells, and public supply wells require special
construction standards that are addressed in this section or in
rules promulgated by other regulating agencies. At a minimum,
when constructing special wells as listed above, the well shall
be constructed by a licensed well driller, and the minimum
construction standards of Section R655-4-9 shall be followed in
addition to the following special standards.
10.1.2 Public Water Supply Wells. Public water supply
wells are subject to the minimum construction standards outlined
in Section R655-4-9 in addition to the requirements established
by the Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Drinking
Water under Rules R309-515 and R309-600. Plans and specifications
for a public supply well must be reviewed and approved by the
Division of Drinking Water before the well is drilled. These
plans and specifications shall include the procedures, practices,
and materials used to drill, construct, seal, develop, clean,
disinfect, and test the public supply well. A Preliminary
Evaluation Report describing the potential vulnerability and
protection strategies of the new well to contamination must also
be submitted and approved prior to drilling. A representative of
the Division of Drinking Water must be present at the time the
surface grout seal is placed in all public supply wells, so that
the placement of the seal can be certified. In order to assure
that a representative will be available, and to avoid down-time
waiting for a representative, notice should be given several days
in advance of the projected surface grout seal placement. When
the time and date for the surface grout seal installation are
confirmed a definite appointment should be made with the
representative of the Division of Drinking Water to witness the
grout seal placement by calling (801) 536-4200. The licensed
driller shall have available a copy of the start card relating to
the well and provide that information to the inspecting
representative at the time of the surface grout seal installation
10.1.3 Cathodic Protection Well Construction. Cathodic
protection wells shall be constructed in accordance with the
casing, joint, surface seal, and other applicable requirements
outlined in Section R655-4-9. Any annular space existing between
the base of the annular surface seal and the top of the anode and
conductive fill interval shall be filled with appropriate fill or
sealing material. Fill material shall consist of washed granular
material such as sand, pea gravel, or sealing material. Fill
material shall not be subject to decomposition or consolidation
and shall be free of pollutants and contaminants. Fill material
shall not be toxic or contain drill cuttings or drilling mud.
Additional sealing material shall be placed below the minimum
depth of the annular surface seal, as needed, to prevent the
cross-connection and commingling of separate aquifers and water
bearing zones. Vent pipes, anode access tubing, and any other
tubular materials (i.e., the outermost casing) that pass through
the interval to be filled and sealed are considered casing for
the purposes of these standards and shall meet the requirements
of Subsections R655-4-9.2 and 9.3. Cathodic protection well
casing shall be at least 2 inches in internal diameter to
facilitate eventual well abandonment. Figure 6 illustrates the
construction of a typical cathodic protection well.
10.1.4 Heating/Cooling Exchange Wells. Wells or boreholes
utilized for heat exchange or thermal heating, which are greater
than 30 feet in depth and encounter formations containing
groundwater, must be drilled by a licensed driller and the owner
or applicant must have an approved application for that specific
purpose as outlined in Section R655-4-7. Wells or boreholes
installed for heat or thermal exchange process must comply with
the minimum construction standards of Section R655-4-9. For
closed-loop systems where groundwater is not removed in the
process, non-production well approval must be obtained from the
state engineer. Closed-loop system wells must be sealed from the
bottom of the well/boring to ground surface using acceptable
materials and placement methods described in Section 9.4. Sand
may be added to the seal mix to enhance thermal conductivity as
long as the seal mix meets permeability and gel strength
standards outlined in Section 9.4. For open-loop systems where
groundwater is removed, processed, and re-injected, a
non-consumptive use water right approval must be obtained from
the state engineer. Open-loop system wells shall be constructed
in accordance with the requirements found in Section 9. If a
separate well or borehole is required for re-injection purposes,
it must also comply with these standards and the groundwater must
be injected into the same water bearing zones as from which it is
initially withdrawn. The quality and quantity of groundwater
shall not be diminished or degraded upon re-injection. The rules
herein pertain only to the heating and cooling exchange well
constructed to a depth greater than 30 feet and are not intended
to regulate the incidental work that may occur up to the well
such as plumbing, electrical, piping, trenching, and backfilling
10.1.5 Recharge and Recovery Wells. Any well drilled
under the provisions of Title 73, Chapter 3b (Groundwater
Recharge and Recovery Act) shall be constructed in a manner
consistent with these rules and shall be drilled by a currently
licensed driller. Special rules regarding the injection of water
into the ground are also promulgated under the jurisdiction of
the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water
Quality (Rule R317-7 "Underground Injection Control
Program" of the Utah Administrative Code) and must be
followed in conjunction with the Water Well Drilling
R655-4-11. Deepening, Rehabilitation, and Renovation of
11.1 Sealing of Casing.
11.1.1 If in the repair of a drilled well, the old casing
is withdrawn, the well shall be recased and resealed in
accordance with the rules provided in Subsection
11.2 Inner Casing.
11.2.1 If an inner casing is installed to prevent leakage
of undesirable water into a well, the space between the two well
casings shall be completely sealed using packers, casing
swedging, pressure grouting, etc., to prevent the movement of
water between the casings.
11.3 Outer Casing.
11.3.1 If the "over-drive" method is used to
eliminate leakage around an existing well, the casing driven over
the well shall meet the minimum specifications listed in
11.4 Artesian Wells.
11.4.1 If upon deepening an existing well, an artesian
zone is encountered, the well shall be cased and completed as
provided in Subsection R655-4-9(9.4).
11.5 Drilling in a Dug Well.
11.5.1 A drilled well may be constructed through an
existing dug well provided that:
18.104.22.168 Unperforated Casing Requirements. An
unperforated section of well casing extends from a depth of at
least ten (10) feet below the bottom of the dug well and at least
20 feet below land surface to above the maximum static water
level in the dug well.
22.214.171.124 Seal Required. A two foot thick seal of neat
cement grout, sand cement grout, or bentonite grout is placed in
the bottom of the dug well so as to prevent the direct movement
of water from the dug well into the drilled well.
126.96.36.199 Test of Seal. The drilled well shall be pumped
or bailed to determine whether the seal described in Subsection
R655-4-11(188.8.131.52) is adequate to prevent movement of water from
the dug well into the drilled well. If the seal leaks, additional
sealing and testing shall be performed until a water tight seal
11.6 Well Rehabilitation and Cleaning.
11.6.1 Tools used to rehabilitate or clean a well shall
be cleaned, disinfected, and free of contamination prior to
placement in a well.
11.6.2 The driller shall use rehabilitation and cleaning
tools properly so as not to permanently damage the well or
aquifer. If the surface seal is damaged or destroyed in the
process of rehabilitation or cleaning, the driller shall repair
the surface seal to the standards set forth in Subsection
11.6.3 Debris, sediment, and other materials displaced
inside the well and surrounding aquifer as a result of
rehabilitation or cleaning shall be completely removed by
pumping, bailing, well development, or other approved
11.6.4 Detergents, chlorine, acids, or other chemicals
placed in wells for the purpose of increasing or restoring yield,
shall be specifically designed for that purpose and used
according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
11.6.5 Any renovation, rehabilitation, cleaning, or other
work on a well that requires alteration of the well itself shall
be conducted by a licensed well driller.
11.6.6 Following completion of deepening, renovation,
rehabilitation, cleaning, or other work on a well, the well shall
be properly disinfected in accordance with Subsection
R655-4-12. Abandonment of Wells.
12.1 Temporary Abandonment.
12.1.1 When any well is temporarily removed from service,
the top of the well shall be sealed with a tamper resistant,
water-tight cap or seal. If a well is in the process of being
drilled and is temporarily abandoned, the well shall be sealed
with a tamper resistant, water-tight cap or seal and a surface
seal installed in accordance with Subsection R655-4-9(9.4). The
well may be temporarily abandoned during construction for a
maximum of 90 days. After the 90 day period, the temporarily
abandoned well shall be completed as a well that meets the
standards of Section 9 or permanently abandoned in accordance
with the following requirements, and an official well abandonment
report (abandonment log) must be submitted in compliance with
12.2 Permanent Abandonment.
12.2.1 The rules of this section apply to the abandonment
of the type of wells listed in Subsection R655-4-1(1.2) including
private water wells, public supply wells, monitor wells, cathodic
protection wells, and heating or cooling exchange wells. A
licensed driller shall notify the state engineer prior to
commencing abandonment work and submit a complete and accurate
abandonment log following abandonment work in accordance with
Section R655-4-4 of these rules. Prior to commencing abandonment
work, the driller shall obtain a copy of the well log of the well
proposed to be abandoned from the well owner or the state
engineer, if available, in order to determine the proper
abandonment procedure. Any well that is to be permanently
abandoned shall be completely filled in a manner to prevent
vertical movement of water within the borehole as well as
preventing the annular space surrounding the well casing from
becoming a conduit for possible contamination of the groundwater
supply. A well driller who wishes to abandon a well in a manner
that does not comply with the provisions set forth in this
section must request approval from the state engineer.
12.3 License Required.
12.3.1 Well abandonment shall be accomplished under the
direct supervision of a currently licensed water well driller who
shall be responsible for verification of the procedures and
12.4 Acceptable Materials.
12.4.1 Neat cement grout, sand cement grout, unhydrated
bentonite, or bentonite grout shall be used to abandon wells and
boreholes. Other sealing materials or additives, such as fly ash,
may be used in the preparation of grout upon approval of the
state engineer. Drilling mud or drill cuttings shall not be used
as any part of a sealing materials for well abandonment. The
liquid phase of the abandonment fluid shall be water from a
potable municipal system or disinfected in accordance with
12.5 Placement of Materials.
12.5.1 Neat cement and sand cement grout shall be
introduced at the bottom of the well or required sealing interval
and placed progressively upward to the top of the well. The
sealing material shall be placed by the use of a grout pipe,
tremie line, dump bailer or equivalent in order to avoid
freefall, bridging, or dilution of the sealing materials or
separation of aggregates from sealants. Sealing material shall
not be installed by freefall (gravity) unless the interval to be
sealed is dry and no deeper than 30 feet below ground surface. If
the well to be abandoned is a flowing artesian well, the well may
be pressure grouted from the surface. The well should be capped
immediately after placement of seal materials to allow the seal
material to set up and not flow out of the well.
12.5.2 Bentonite-based abandonment products shall be
mixed and placed according to manufacturer's recommended
procedures and result in a seal free of voids or bridges.
Granular or powered bentonite shall not be placed under water.
When placing unhydrated bentonite, a sounding or tamping tool
shall be run in the sealing interval during pouring to measure
fill-up rate, verify a continuous seal placement, and to break up
possible bridges or cake formation.
12.5.3 The uppermost ten (10) feet of the abandoned well
casing or borehole shall consist of neat cement grout or sand
12.5.4 Abandonment materials placed opposite any
non-water bearing intervals or zones shall be at least as
impervious as the formation or strata prior to penetration during
the drilling process.
12.5.5 Prior to well or borehole abandonment, all pump
equipment, piping, and other debris shall be removed to the
extent possible. The well shall also be sounded immediately
before it is plugged to make sure that no obstructions exist that
will interfere with the filling and sealing. If the well contains
lubricating oil that has leaked from a turbine shaft pump, it
shall be removed from the well prior to abandonment and disposed
of in accordance with applicable state and federal
12.5.6 Verification shall be made that the volume of
sealing and fill material placed in a well during abandonment
operations equals or exceeds the volume of the well or borehole
to be filled and sealed.
12.6 Termination of Casing.
12.6.1 The casings of wells to be abandoned shall be
severed a minimum of two feet below either the natural ground
surface adjacent to the well or at the collar of the hole,
whichever is the lower elevation. A minimum of two (2) feet of
compacted native material shall be placed above the abandoned
well upon completion.
12.7 Abandonment of Artesian Wells.
12.7.1 A neat cement grout, sand-cement grout, or
concrete plug shall be placed in the confining stratum overlying
the artesian zone so as to prevent subsurface leakage from the
artesian zone. The remainder of the well shall be filled with
sand-cement grout, neat cement grout, bentonite abandonment
products, or bentonite grout. The uppermost ten (10) feet of the
well shall be abandoned as required in Subsection
12.8 Abandonment of Drilled and Jetted Wells.
12.8.1 A neat cement grout or sand cement grout plug
shall be placed opposite all perforations, screens or openings in
the well casing. The remainder of the well shall be filled with
cement grout, neat cement, bentonite abandonment products,
concrete, or bentonite slurry. The uppermost ten feet of the well
shall be abandoned as required in Subsection
12.9 Abandonment of Gravel Packed Wells.
12.9.1 All gravel packed wells shall be pressure grouted
throughout the perforated or screened section of the well. The
remainder of the well shall be filled with sand cement grout,
neat cement grout, bentonite abandonment products, or bentonite
grout. The uppermost ten feet of the well shall be abandoned as
required in Subsection R655-4-12(12.5.3).
12.10 Removal of Casing.
12.10.1 It is recommended that the well casing be removed
during well abandonment, and when doing so, the abandonment
materials shall be placed from the bottom of the well or borehole
progressively upward as the casing is removed. The well shall be
sealed with sand cement grout, neat cement grout, bentonite
abandonment products, or bentonite grout. In the case of gravel
packed wells, the entire gravel section shall be pressure
grouted. The uppermost ten feet of the well shall be abandoned as
required in Subsection R655-4-12(12.5.3).
12.11 Replacement Wells.
12.11.1 Wells which are to be removed from operation and
replaced by the drilling of a new well under an approved
replacement application, shall be abandoned in a manner
consistent with the provisions of Section R655-4-12 before the
rig is removed from the site of the newly constructed replacement
well, unless written authorization to remove the rig without
abandonment is provided by the state engineer. Also refer to the
requirements provided in Subsection R655-4-4(4.4).
12.12 Abandonment of Cathodic Protection Wells.
12.12.1 The general requirements for permanent well
abandonment in accordance with Section R655-4-12 shall be
followed for the abandonment of cathodic protection
12.12.2 A cathodic protection well shall be investigated
before it is destroyed to determine its condition, details of its
construction and whether conditions exist that will interfere
with filling and sealing.
12.12.3 Casing, cables, anodes, granular backfill,
conductive backfill, and sealing material shall be removed as
needed, by re-drilling, if necessary, to the point needed to
allow proper placement of abandonment material. Casing that
cannot be removed shall be adequately perforated or punctured at
specific intervals to allow pressure injection of sealing
materials into granular backfill and all other voids that require
R655-4-13. Monitor Well Construction Standards.
13.1.1 Certain construction standards that apply to water
wells also apply to monitor wells. Therefore, these monitoring
well standards refer frequently to the water well standard
sections of the rules. Standards that apply only to monitor
wells, or that require emphasis, are discussed in this section.
Figure 7 illustrates a schematic of an acceptable monitor well
with an above-ground surface completion. Figure 8 illustrates a
schematic of an acceptable monitor well with a flush-mount
surface completion. Figures 7 and 8 can be viewed in the
publication, State of Utah Administrative Rules for Water Well
Drillers, dated January 1, 2001, available at the Division of
Water Rights, 1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City,
13.1.2 These standards are not intended as a complete
manual for monitoring well construction, alteration, maintenance,
and abandonment. These standards serve only as minimum statewide
guidelines towards ensuring that monitor wells do not constitute
a significant pathway for the movement of poor quality water,
pollutants, or contaminants. These standards provide no assurance
that a monitor well will perform a desired function. Ultimate
responsibility for the design and performance of a monitoring
well rests with the well owner and/or the owner's contractor,
and/or technical representative(s). Most monitor well projects
are the result of compliance with the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), Federal Regulations such as the Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or
"Superfund"), or specific State Solid and Hazardous
Waste requirements. The contracts governing their installation
are tightly written containing specific requirements as to site
location, materials used, sampling procedures and overall
objectives. Therefore specific construction requirements for
monitor well installation shall be governed by applicable
contracts and regulations providing they meet or exceed state
requirements and specifications. Guidelines and recommended
practices dealing with the installation of monitor wells may be
obtained from the state engineer upon request. Additional
recommended information may be obtained from the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA), Groundwater Monitoring Enforcement and Compliance
Document available from EPA's regional office in Denver,
Colorado and from the Handbook of Suggested Practices for the
Design and Installation of Groundwater Monitoring Wells,
available from the National Groundwater Association in Dublin,
13.2 Installation and Construction.
13.2.1 Materials and Equipment Contaminant-Free. All
material used in the installation of monitor wells shall be
contaminant-free when placed in the ground. Drilling equipment
shall be clean and contaminant free in accordance with Subsection
R655-4-9(9.6.4). During construction contaminated water should
not be allowed to enter contaminant-free geologic formations or
water bearing zones.
13.2.2 Borehole Integrity. Some minor cross-contamination
may occur during the drilling process, but the integrity of the
borehole and individual formations must then be safeguarded from
permanent cross connection.
13.2.3 Casing and Screen. The well casing should be
perforated or screened and filter packed with sand or gravel
where necessary to provide adequate sample collection at depths
where appropriate aquifer flow zones exist. The casing and screen
selected shall not affect or interfere with the chemical,
physical, radiological, or biological constituents of interest.
Screens in the same well shall not be placed across separate
water bearing zones in order to minimize interconnection, aquifer
commingling, and cross contamination. Screens in a nested well
can be placed in separate water bearing zones as long as the
intervals between the water bearing zones are appropriately
sealed and aquifer cross connection and commingling does not
occur. Monitor well casing and screen shall conform to ASTM
standards, or consist of at least 304 or 316 stainless steel,
PTFE (Teflon), or Schedule 40 PVC casing.
13.2.4 Gravel/Filter Pack. If installed, the gravel or
filter pack should generally extend two (2) feet to ten (10) feet
above screened or perforated areas to prevent the migration of
the sealing material from entering the zones being sampled.
Gravel or filter pack material shall meet the requirements of
Subsection R655-4-9(9.5.2). Gravel/filter pack for monitoring
wells does not require disinfection. Drill cutting should not be
placed into the open borehole annulus. The well driller shall
ensure that a bridge or voids do not occur in the annular space
during the placement of the gravel pack by means of a sounding
device or other mechanism.
13.2.5 Annular Seal. All monitor wells constructed shall
have a continuous surface seal, which seals the annular space
between the borehole and the permanent casing, in accordance with
the provisions in Section R655-4-9. The surface seal depth
requirements of Section R655-4-9 do not apply to monitor wells.
The surface seal may be more or less than 50 feet depending on
the screen/perforation and/or gravel pack interval. Seals shall
also be constructed to prevent interconnection and commingling of
separate aquifers penetrated by the well, prevent migration of
surface water and contaminations into the well and aquifers, and
shall provide casing stability. The seal shall have a minimum
diameter of four inches larger than the nominal size of the
permanent casing, and shall extend from land surface to the top
of the filter pack. After the permanent casing and filter pack
(optional) has been set in final position, a layer of bentonite
or fine sand (e.g., mortar sand) shall be placed on top of the
filter pack to maintain separation between the seal material and
the screened interval in order to insure that the seal placement
will not interfere with the filter pack. The remaining annular
space shall be filled to land surface in a continuous operation
with unhydrated bentonite, neat cement grout, sand-cement grout,
or bentonite grout. Only potable water should be used to hydrate
any grout or slurry mixture. The completed annular space shall
fully surround the permanent casing, be evenly distributed, free
of voids, and extend from the permanent casing to undisturbed or
recompacted soil. All sealing materials and placement methods
shall conform to the standards in Section R655-4-2 and Subsection
R655-4-9(9.4). The well driller shall ensure that a bridge or
voids do not occur in the annular space during the placement of
13.2.6 Cuttings, Decon Water, Development Water, and
Other IDW. Drill cuttings, decontamination (Decon) water, monitor
well development water, and other investigation derived waste
(IDW) shall be managed and disposed of in accordance with
applicable state and federal environmental regulations. It is the
responsibility of the driller to know and understand such
13.3 Minimum Surface Protection Requirements.
13.3.1 If a well is cased with metal and completed above
ground surface, a locking water resistant cap shall be installed
on the top of the well.
13.3.2 If the well is not cased with metal and completed
above ground surface, a protective metal casing shall be
installed over and around the well. The protective casing shall
be cemented at least two feet into the ground around the
nonmetallic casing. A water tight cap shall be installed in the
top of the well casing. A locking cap shall be installed on the
top of the protective casing.
13.3.3 Monitor wells completed above ground and
potentially accessible to vehicular damage shall be protected in
the following manner. At least three metal posts, at least three
inches in diameter, shall be cemented in place around the casing.
Each post shall extend at least three feet above and two feet
below ground surface. A concrete pad may be installed to add
protection to the surface completion. If installed, the concrete
pad shall be at least four (4) inches thick and shall slope to
drain away from the well casing. The base shall extend at least
two (2) feet laterally in all directions from the outside of the
well boring. When a concrete pad is used, the well seal may be
part of the concrete pad.
13.3.4 If the well is completed below land surface, a
water tight cap with a lock shall be attached to the top of the
well casing. A metal monument or equivalent shall be installed
over and around the well. The monument shall serve as a
protective cover and be installed level with the land surface and
be equipped with a waterproof seal to prevent inflow of any water
or contaminants. Drains will be provided, when feasible, to keep
water out of the well and below the well cap. The monument and
cover must be designed to withstand the maximum expected
13.4.1 Abandonment of monitor wells shall be completed in
compliance with the provisions of Section R655-4-12. The
provisions of Section R655-4-12 are not required for the
permanent abandonment of monitor wells completed at a depth of 30
feet below natural ground surface.
KEY: water rights, licensing, well drilling
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: September
Notice of Continuation: October 13, 2009
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 73-3 ]
The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2011/b20110301.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.