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Regulatory Handbook -> Water Resource Permits -> Notice of Intent to Construct or Decommission a Well

Notice of Intent to Construct or Decommission a Well

What is the Purpose of this Notification?
A property owner seeking to have a well constructed or decommissioned is required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Ecology. An NOI is required for all drilling activities including:
  • Deepening.
  • Alteration.
  • Reconstruction.
  • Decommissioning of wells.

Wells include:
  • Water wells.
  • Monitoring/resource protection wells.
  • Geotech soil borings.
  • Environmental investigation wells.
  • Geothermal heat pump borings.
  • Dewatering systems.

It is important to note that an NOI does not give permission to engage in construction or decommission activities or to withdraw groundwater.

The NOI is not a permit, certificate, or application for a water right. Your NOI does not represent approval or permission to use water from the well. Once the well is drilled, the water may only be withdrawn if it is legally available and then NEEDS TO BE put to beneficial use to establish a "right" to use of the water.

The property owner must submit an NOI to Ecology at least 72 hours prior to well construction or decommissioning, along with a possible fee. NOI forms are available through Ecology's Regional Offices, Headquarters and licensed well drillers. The forms are also available online from the Well Construction and Licensing homepage. The forms can be filled out by the property owner or the driller. Although there are exemptions from licensing regulations for construction of wells (see RCW 18.104.180), there is no exemption for decommissioning wells. All wells must be decommissioned by a licensed well operator.
Who Issues this Notification?
Department of Ecology
What Activities Require this Notification?
Drilling activities that include:
  • Deepening.
  • Alteration.
  • Reconstruction.
  • Decommissioning of wells.
How Much Will this Notification Cost?
The cost is variable. Contact the appropriate Ecology Regional Office or Headquarters for details.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Notification?
The application which is called 'Notice of Intent (NOI)' is online and can be accessed at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/wellconstruction/Wells/NoticeOfIntentGeneralInformation.aspx.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
Submit the Notice of Intent application and, if required (depends on type of well), a check or money order payable to:

    The Department of Ecology
    P.O. Box 47611
    Olympia, WA 98504-7611
Is the Decision on my Notification Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
No.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
Not applicable.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Since an NOI is not a permit, there is no official review process.
How Long is my Notification Valid?
There is no expiration date on an NOI. However, the remitter does have 6 months from the day Ecology receives the NOI to request a refund.
What is the Appeal Process for the Notification?
Since an NOI is not a permit, there is no official review process and there is no appeal process.
Notes / Comments:
Prior to having your well constructed, check with your local county health department to get any additional information on local well construction ordinances.

The Notice of Intent is not a permit, certificate, or application for a water right. Your Notice of Intent does not represent approval or permission to use water from the well. Once the well is drilled, the water may only be withdrawn if it is legally available and then NEEDS TO BE put to beneficial use to establish a "right" to use of the water.
Statewide Contact:
Department of Ecology
Water Resources Program
Headquarters
300 Desmond Drive
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Fax: (360) 407-7162
Telephone: (360) 407-6872
Website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/wrhome.html
* Permit information last updated 6/27/2019
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