A well driller or well constructor shall comply with this chapter for the construction and reconstruction of all wells. A well driller or well constructor shall provide adequate protection for the top of the drillhole and the top of the well casing pipe to prevent surface contamination from entering the well during the drilling operation and when the driller is not at the drilling site.
A well driller or well constructor shall either obtain, or verify that the well owner has obtained, a department issued approval before the well construction operation is started on any well that requires an approval under s. NR 812.09 (4)
. A well driller or well constructor shall comply with any requirements of an approval issued by the department under s. NR 812.09 (4)
Consultation with the department prior to drilling.
A well driller or well constructor shall consult with the department prior to drilling in areas where the driller has been notified or determines that there are contaminated formations or groundwater contamination levels in excess of the standards specified in s. NR 812.06
, or prior to drilling a well on a property identified by the department as having residual contamination and continuing obligations requiring listing on the department's database under s. 292.12 (3)
NR 812.10 Note
Note: Properties that are identified by the department as having residual contamination and continuing obligations can be found by searching the Wisconsin Remediation and Redevelopment Database which is available on the department's website at dnr.wi.gov, search “WRRD.”
When a well driller or well constructor has constructed a water well not initially located or constructed in compliance with this chapter, the well driller or well constructor shall pay all costs for bringing the well into compliance with this chapter. These costs include the cost of filling and sealing the noncomplying well, if necessary, but do not include the costs that would have been charged for an initial complying well construction.
Well notification report verification.
A well driller or well constructor shall either obtain a well notification or verify that the well owner has obtained a department well notification including the notification number, by obtaining a copy of the notification report, before the well construction operation is started.
A well driller, well constructor, or drilling contractor shall obtain required permits from counties authorized to administer this chapter under ch. NR 845
. If the property is located within the area served by a municipally owned water system, the well driller or well constructor shall verify that the well owner has obtained a well operational permit from the municipality in accordance with the municipality's private well ordinance.
(10) Water sample collection, analysis and reporting.
The well driller or the well constructor shall collect water samples, submit them to a certified laboratory for analysis, and provide the test results in compliance with s. NR 812.46
The well driller or well constructor shall submit a well construction report, on a form prescribed by the department, within 30 days following the date of completion of any of the following activities:
The construction of a dry drillhole or unsuccessful well that is not immediately filled and sealed.
Well screen replacement if the screen is set more than 5 feet above or below the original screen depth setting.
The well driller or well constructor shall submit a complete and accurate well construction report to the department and to the well owner. The well driller or well constructor shall submit the well construction report to the department electronically beginning on January 1, 2023.
When constructing a replacement well, a well driller or well constructor shall report any well he or she removes from service on the property.
If the department returns a well construction report to the well driller or well constructor because the well construction report is not complete or because compliance with the construction requirements of this chapter is not clear, the well driller or well constructor shall resubmit the original well construction report to the department with corrections and completion no later than 15 days after receipt of the returned report.
(12) Bacteria positive wells.
A well driller or well constructor shall return to the well site to diagnose and attempt to correct a problem when an initial sample from a potable well is positive for total coliform bacteria. Corrective action shall begin no later than 10 days after a well driller or well constructor is informed of a total coliform bacteria-positive result or prior to the well being placed into service, whichever is later. After corrective action, the well shall be disinfected and flushed in accordance with s. NR 812.12 (17)
and sampled in accordance with s. NR 812.46 (1)
A well driller or well constructor shall return to the well site
to attempt to diagnose and correct problems if a problem is reported to them, no later than 90 days after a well is completed or no later than 30 days after the well is placed in service, whichever is later. The well driller or well constructor shall return to the well site to attempt to diagnose and correct problems when any of the following occurs:
Water starts flowing up the outside of the casing of a flowing well.
If a well driller or well constructor installs a liner to correct problems identified under this subsection, the liner shall meet the requirements specified in s. NR 812.21
A well driller or well constructor may seal a drillhole with neat cement, sand cement grout, or concrete grout and subsequently drill through the hardened grout to reconstruct a well for non-health-related water quality problems or for turbidity problems. A well driller or well constructor shall report any well reconstructed in this manner in accordance with the requirements specified in sub. (15)
When a problem well has been identified by the department, the department may test or contract to test the well for damage or leaks by pressure testing or by a comparable testing procedure. If pressure tested,
well shall be proven watertight under a pressure of not less than 14 psi, and the pressure shall be maintained for at least 30 minutes.
(14) Notification of the need to fill and seal a well.
A well driller or well constructor who removes a well from service or constructs a replacement well on a property shall inform the property owner that the department requires that any well replaced or removed from service shall be filled and sealed according to the requirements of this section no later than 90 days after the well was removed from service or 90 days after the completion of the replacement well, whichever is later.
When required to measure well casing pipe depth by this chapter or at the request of the department, the well driller or well constructor shall enter the well details on a form specified by the department and submit the form to the well owner and the department no later than 30 days after performing the verification.
All of the following information shall be included on the form:
(16) Disinfection of equipment.
A well driller or well constructor shall disinfect any equipment used to measure or diagnose a problem in a well prior to placing the equipment in a well.
NR 812.10 History
Cr. Register, January, 1991, No. 421
, eff. 2-1-91; am. (5), (9) and (11), Register, September, 1994, No. 465
, eff. 10-1-94; corrections made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, September, 1994, No. 465
; CR 00-111
: am. (2), Register October 2001 No. 550
, eff. 11-1-01; CR 13-096
: am. (title), (1) to (8), cr. (11m), CR 13-099
: am. (2), (8), r. and recr. (11), cr. (12), (13) Register September 2014 No. 705
, eff. 10-1-14; correction in numbering in (11m) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1., Stats., Register September 2014 No. 705
; 2015 Wis. Act 197
s. 45 Register April 2016 No. 724
; CR 18-095
: r. and recr. Register June 2020 No. 774
, eff. 7-1-20; correction in (12) (title) made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register June 2020 No. 775
; CR 21-070: cr. (13) (d) Register July 2022 No. 799, eff. 8-1-22.
NR 812.11 Well construction equipment and materials.
All materials permanently installed in a well by a well driller or well constructor shall be new, unused, and approved under s. NR 812.091
. A well driller or well constructor shall use equipment and materials that meet all of the following requirements:
The diameter of a drill bit shall be within 1/4 inch of the diameter of any drillhole to be constructed.
Tremie pipe used for the placement of grouting or sealing material shall be one of the following:
Rubber-covered hose reinforced with braided fiber or steel and rated for at least 300 psi.
Thermoplastic pipe rated for at least 160 psi including:
well driller or well constructor shall use a mud balance to measure the density of grouting or sealing materials to meet the requirements of this section.
A well driller or well constructor is prohibited from the use of lead compounds or lead components to lubricate and seal drill stem joints or any equipment that enters a well. All material permanently installed in a well by a well driller or well constructor must be lead-free as defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
NR 812.11 Note
Note: The Safe Drinking Water Act defines “lead-free” as a weighted average of 0.25% lead calculated across the wetted surfaces of a pipe, pipe fitting, plumbing fitting, and fixture and 0.2% lead for solder and flux.
Within any string of well casing pipe, all lengths of pipe used shall be of the same diameter.
Steel well casing pipe.
Steel well casing pipe and liner pipe shall be new, unused, and nonreclaimed pipe. The pipe shall meet ASTM or API standards and shall also meet all of the following requirements:
Except as provided in par. (b)
, well casing pipe shall have the dimensions and weights specified in Table B. Well casing pipe used in initial well construction or liner pipe used for reconstruction of a well with water containing contaminant levels in excess of the standards specified in s. NR 812.06
shall be new steel pipe meeting any of the following standards:
ASTM A 589—Type I, Grade A or B—Type II, Grade A, Type III—driven well pipe.
Nonpotable well pipe exception.
Pipe for nonpotable wells greater than 12-inch diameter shall have a minimum wall thickness of at least 0.250 inches and be able to withstand the structural stress imposed by construction conditions.
Defective pipe may not be used in water well construction. The well driller or well constructor shall inspect steel well casing pipe for defects prior to use. Defective pipe includes all of the following:
Pipe with defects, such as cracks, open welds, partial or incomplete welds, open seams, laminations in pipe wall that exceed 12.5% of wall thickness, or slivers that exceed 12.5% of wall thickness.
Pipe with coatings containing contaminants on the inside of the pipe.
Any length of pipe composed of multiple pieces that is not straight and squarely aligned, or is incorrectly mated and welded in accordance with the requirements specified in par. (f)
Each length of well casing pipe 2 inches or larger in diameter shall meet the requirements in Table B and shall be legibly marked in conformance with the ASTM or API marking specifications including color identification in the form of bands. Except as identified in this paragraph, each length of pipe shall show all of the following:
Whether seamless or welded and type of weld and the heat number.
When the department determines that the water well casing pipe or the pipe markings are of questionable condition, the department may request that the well driller or well constructor provide the mill certification papers obtained directly from the manufacturer that list the pipe specifications and match the heat numbers on the pipe.
Assembly and installation.
A well driller or well constructor shall assemble and install steel well casing in accordance with all of the following:
When steel well casing pipe is driven or installed it shall be accomplished in a manner such that damage to the well casing pipe does not result.
Steel well casing pipe shall be assembled watertight by correctly mated, recessed type couplings having the weights and diameters as listed in Table B or by means of welded joints.
Two-inch diameter or smaller well casing pipe couplings shall have at least 11-1/2 threads per inch. Larger diameter couplings shall have at least 8 threads per inch.
Steel well casing pipe to be assembled with welded joints shall have beveled ends and the bevels shall be properly aligned and clean and free of burs prior to welding. The casing shall be welded using the procedures of s. NR 812.18
and the weld shall fill the bevel.
- See PDF for table
Thermoplastic well casing pipe.
Thermoplastic well casing pipe and couplings used in the construction of wells shall be new and unused and shall meet all of the following requirements:
Thermoplastic well casing pipe and couplings shall be polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) material produced to and meeting the ASTM F480 specification as well as all of the following requirements:
Styrene-rubber thermoplastic well casing pipe, including ASTM F 480 may not be used.
Thermoplastic well casing shall have a standard dimension ratio of 21, 17, or 13.5.
Well casing pipe, pipe couplings, cement, primer, and other components used shall meet the requirements of NSF Standard 14 as it relates to well casing pipe, or an approved equivalent organization.