Water Well Construction

This program regulates the permitting and installation of water wells in the State of Maryland. Well construction techniques and practices whether employed to provide potable water supplies, monitoring of groundwater, or for irrigation impact the public health and welfare in significant ways. That is why ensuring that the construction, testing and the abandonment of all types of wells continues to be a priority of the Department. Nearly 900,000 Marylanders obtain their drinking water from wells. Strong well construction regulation is essential to protect these and other consumers of groundwater as well as the groundwater resource itself.

The following is a partial list of the types of wells that are regulated by this program: 

  • Potable & Non-Potable Supply Wells
  • Geothermal (open & closed loop wells)
  • Irrigation
  • Geotechnical/Environmental
  • Industrial

The process of well construction starts with obtaining the services of a State of Maryland licensed well driller. The State Board of Well Drillers maintains a roster of companies and individuals qualified to obtain permits to construct a well.

Local Health Departments and other local Permitting Agencies (Approving Authorities) are delegated authority by MDE to enforce the State’s water well construction regulations. Technical support is provided by the Department. To obtain a well construction permit, a licensed well driller submits an application to the local County Approving Authority. Depending on the type of well to be installed, or the quantity of water proposed to be withdrawn, additional State permit requirements may have to be met. Once a permit to drill is obtained and the well is completed the well driller must turn in a completion report to the Approving Authority.

If the well is to be used as a potable water supply, a Certificate of Potability (COP) is required before it is put into service. A COP is issued after a series of laboratory tests indicate the water is safe for human consumption. If you have any questions in regards to the well construction regulations or procedures, please feel free to contact your jurisdiction’s local Approving Authority for well permitting or the Onsite Systems Division. 

Well Forms

In addition to our standard handwritten forms these fillable pdfs are provided for you to use.  It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that a hard copy of the form for the County, Survey, Driller, Well Owner and the Department is provided to the Approving Authority at the time of submission.


Attached are some helpful resource links regarding wells:


  • The Story of Groundwater - an musical animation about the importance of groundwater
  • How a Water Well is Drilled - educational video showing step by step, the processes of well drilling, well construction and equipment installation needed to provide a safe home water supply

Contact Info

Please contact the Department at (410) 537-3784 if you have any additional questions in regards to the construction of wells in the State of Maryland.

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