Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey


Marcellus and other Organic-Rich Shale

Research on the Marcellus, Utica and other organic rich shales.

Hickory Run boulder field

What's New

This section features new information and publications on the bureau's website.


Improvements in PaGWIS—Information on Pennsylvania Water Wells and Springs 

For those who own a private water well, finding the original well report can be a daunting task. Since 1965, the Pennsylvania Geological Survey has collected well records from water well drillers across the state and made that information available to the public. At first, drillers submitted paper reports. By the 1980s, bureau staff were entering the reports into a digital database known as the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System, or PaGWIS. Today, most drillers submit their reports digitally into an application called WebDriller, and that information is uploaded each week into PaGWIS. Now, a new interface makes the groundwater data in PaGWIS easy to access.

In addition to the water well completion reports submitted by the drillers, the bureau has collected groundwater information from the U.S. Geological Survey and other government agencies. PaGWIS contains more than 500,000 Pennsylvania water well records (a few of the wells date back to the 1700s!) and more than 1,600 spring records. The data can be used to answer many groundwater questions, for example:

  • What is the range of water well yields in a specific area?
  • How deep is a particular water well and what is the depth to groundwater?
  • How far below the surface is bedrock?
  • How many inventoried springs or wells are in a particular area?
  • What is the quality of water from an identified spring?
  • Has a well been cased and grouted?
  • When was my well drilled?

The PaGWIS web page allows one to view or download data on individual water wells and springs, or using a variety of search methods (including an interactive map), one can download various data packages. So please visit our PaGWIS page and find the answers to your groundwater questions.