Water Well Permit
Sedgwick County has adopted a Domestic Water Well Code Resolution No. 190-05. The code will cover the unincorporated areas of Sedgwick County and the second and third class cities of the county whose governing bodies have adopted the code and entered into an agreement with the county to authorize enforcement within their municipal boundaries. It is advised that contractors check with each city to determine if the county code is in effect within their boundaries.
No person, firm, corporation or other entity can engage in constructing, reconstructing, plugging or treating water wells without the following:
- A valid license issued by the state of Kansas.
- Liability insurance in the amount of $300,000.
- Registered as a water well contractor with MABCD.
A permit must be obtained from MABCD prior to construction, reconstruction, plugging or treatment of water wells. Definitions for those terms can be found in the code. What type of water well work will require a permit? The following are quick examples:
- The pump goes out on the well. This will require a permit because the work requires entry into the casing.
- The well needs to be treated (chlorinated) to remove bacteria. This will NOT require a permit.
- The well needs to be treated to stimulate production. This will require a permit.
- The well has been drilled and construction is complete. Now the water lines need to be run to the house. This will not require a permit because the permit for the well has already been issued prior to construction.
- There is an abandoned water well on your property. Our code and state law require all abandoned water wells to be plugged. This will require a permit.
If you are unsure if a permit is required, contact MABCD prior to commencing the work.
The water well permit must be obtained prior to the issuance of a building permit on premises where the well will be the private water supply. A permit will be valid for one year. Permits will cost as follows:
- Water Well Permit: $50
- Semi-public Water Supply: $200
- Semi-public Water Supply Annual Operating Permit: $50
Only registered contractors may apply for a permit unless the applicant is the individual constructing, reconstructing, or plugging on land owned by them and the well serves only that individual’s place of abode.
An inspection is required upon completion of the work permitted. A copy of the log must be submitted to code enforcement within 30 days. Use shall be approved when the well has been satisfactorily constructed and inspected, and the water analysis results and the drilling log have been approved.
Water testing is required on any newly constructed, reconstructed or treated water wells. The testing will consist of bacteria and nitrate analysis at a minimum. The cost for a basic analysis is $45.00 and is the responsibility of the well owner. Costs are subject to change without notice. Any additional testing above and beyond the basic analysis will be the responsibility of the homeowner.
Abandoned Water Wells
All abandoned water wells and cased and uncased test holes must be plugged in accordance with K.A.R. 28-30-1, et seq, as amended.
One of the most important aspects of the code is the section regarding separation distance between the water well and potential pollution sources. What constitutes a potential pollution source? Sewer lines, septic tanks, lateral fields, seepage pits and fuel, fertilizer and pesticide storage areas are all potential pollution sources. The general rule is 50 feet between the well and these sources although a 10-foot minimum is appropriate in certain instances (watertight lines and construction).
Properly constructed wells should also be located 25 feet (minimum) from the nearest property line. If public water and sewer serve both properties and the well is for irrigation purposes only, this requirement may be waived. Variances may be granted on a case-by-case basis if warranted.
Flooding and Groundwater Protection
Flooding is a major concern for the protection of groundwater resources for the simple reason that improperly constructed or plugged water wells are a direct conduit from the surface to the groundwater. If a well is located with a mapped flood plain the casing shall extend two feet above the base flood elevation. If the premise has an established minimum pad elevation the well casing extend to a point at or above the pad elevation.
Other location considerations include sensitive groundwater areas as identified by the Water Well Advisory Board and areas of contamination as identified by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Wells located in these areas may be subject to special permitting and construction standards.
If you any questions concerning the code, water wells in general or groundwater protection, please call 316-660-1840.