Summary of Water-well Drillers Licensing Program


ACT 610, the Pennsylvania Water Well Drillers License Act of 1956 was enacted largely for the purpose of obtaining hydrogeologic data from water wells through the registration of well drillers and their drilling rigs

  • Act 610, Section 1, outlines two principal objectives:
    • " . . . to encourage the orderly development of this resource . . ."
    • " . . . to procure detailed information on the groundwater resources . . . "
  • The Act establishes a licensing process for drillers and their drilling rigs, and requires, with few exceptions, all water wells in the Commonwealth be constructed by a duly licensed driller.
    • The license year runs from June 1 through May 31. Renewals are due by May 31 each year.
    • Annual fees are $60 for the license and $20 for each rig permit
    • The Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey licenses more than 550 drillers each year and issues more than 950 rig permits
  • Act 610 requires drillers to keep, and submit to the Survey, detailed records regarding the construction of each well.
    • Since implemented in 1966, records have been submitted for more than 250,000 wells
    • Approximately 170,000 of these records have been entered into a Water-Well Inventory (WWI) database
    • An average of 18,000 new records are submitted each year
  • Act 610 grants statutory authority for abandonment of unused water wells to the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey.