Over the years, water well records in PaGWIS have come from various sources, but most of the well records have been submitted to the Pennsylvania Geological Survey by water well drillers. Records submitted by drillers have been added to the database at various stages over the years, starting in 1969. The data entered varied somewhat with each generation of data entry.
Records originally entered into PaGWIS have latitude and longitude coordinates. These coordinates were determined by Survey staff by plotting the best estimate of the location of the well based on the written description of the well location and the sketch map included on the paper well record. The goal was for the coordinates of each well to be within one mile of its actual location. These records are included in the results of radial and polygonal searches. These records do not include the well address or the driller's log. There are no links to digital images of the paper records for these wells.
For years, no records were entered into PaGWIS because of insufficient staff, creating a backlog of 10 to 20 years, depending on the county. In 2005, skeletal data (owner name, well address, county, municipality, driller, and date drilled) for this backlog of about 152,000 records were entered into PaGWIS. No coordinates were entered for these records. Therefore, they will not be listed in the results of either radial or polygonal searches. You must search by county, municipality, driller, or date drilled to locate these records. Because these well records do not have all their data included from the paper forms, we have provided in the search results links to the images of the paper records submitted to the Survey. Upon selection, these links open in a new window where the original well record can viewed and printed.
After 2005, paper records continued to be submitted until electronic submittal by WebDriller became mandatory on June 1, 2009. These paper records, and a small number submitted after 2009, have not been entered into PaGWIS. See below for information on obtaining scans of well records submitted on paper forms that have not yet been added to PaGWIS. About 50,000 paper well records from this generation are not included in PaGWIS.
Starting in 2009 drillers entered well records electronically using WebDriller. After the record has been printed for owner, the completed well report data is transferred into PaGWIS within 30 days. These records include coordinates and will be identified in the results of radial or polygonal searches. No paper well record forms were submitted for these wells, so there is no link to images of a paper well record.
It's been estimated that Pennsylvania has over a million domestic water wells. There are over 400,000 records in PaGWIS. Over the years, many water well completion reports were never submitted.
Until resources are obtained to add paper records into PaGWIS, scans of well records submitted on paper forms are available by contacting the Survey. The scans are saved in Portable Document Format (PDF), and typically contain multiple well records per file by county and municipality. Requests for records of specific municipalities may be answered through email. Requests for large areas may require the purchase of a CD or DVD. For more information, please contact Stuart Reese, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, at 717-702-2028.