What you need to know about your well
If you have a new water well drilled or make major repairs to an existing source, you must register it with the Ontario government.
Visit www.ontario.ca/page/well-records for more information on the regulations.
Well records are used to learn about the groundwater and geology of an area to best locate new wells, find existing wells and provide original construction information about existing wells.
The person constructing the well must complete and submit a well record to the government, well purchaser and you, as the property owner, after that person constructs a new well for you or alters or repairs your existing well, unless it’s a minor alteration or pump installation.
In most cases, you, as a well owner, must complete and submit a well record to the government when you have an existing well properly abandoned (i.e., seal and plug it). Have a well contractor you hired to properly abandon your well to complete and submit the record on your behalf.
If you hired a well contractor to construct a well on your property, the contractor must provide you with a copy of the well record within 14 days of the well’s structural stage being completed. The contractor must also forward a well record to the government within 30 days after the well’s structural stage has been completed.
The well record indicates how the well was constructed, its location, results of the pumping test, general information on water quality and the groundwater.
Keep your well record in a safe place and make copies of it each time your well is serviced. Well records must be mailed to: Wells Help Desk Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change 125 Resources Road Toronto ON M9P 3V6 1-888-396-WELL (9355)
Records date back to 1899
The government has well record data from 1899 to present. The geology, material properties and groundwater information contained in well records can be used in geotechnical and groundwater site investigations and for geologic and terrain studies.
Individual well records
To get individual well records, go to the well records site and click on the interactive Well Record Map.
The well must be a least six metres deep. If the only useful source of groundwater is less than six metres below ground surface, the well must be at least three metres deep.
A well must have a watertight casing (e.g., pipe) made of new material. The casing is installed inside the hole and prevents the ground from collapsing into the hole.
Sealing material must be placed around the outside of the casing to reduce the risk of the well acting as a pathway for contaminants.
Drilling fluids and other materials introduced during the construction of the well must be removed from the well water. The well water must be disinfected. Depending on the type of well, it must be covered with either a watertight cover or a manufactured vermin-proof well cap.
A well must be vented to ensure any dangerous gases are safely dispersed.
The well must be pumped at a constant rate, and in most cases, water levels must be measured to determine the amount of water the well can supply.
After construction, an information package and a 1-litre sample of the well water (for visual examination) must be given to the well purchaser unless otherwise directed. The depth of the well must also be measured in the presence of the well purchaser unless otherwise directed.
The well purchaser and the owner of the land must be notified if mineralized water (e.g., salty or sulphate-rich water), natural gas or other gas is detected. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change must also be notified if natural gas or other gas is detected in a well.
Copies of the well record must be provided to the well purchaser, the owner of the land and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
A well tag obtained from the ministry must be visible and permanently attached to the well casing or another structure associated with the well.
Any person who installs a pump in a water supply well must meet the rules for notification, venting, well cap or cover, well tag, disinfection rules.
A prime source
Information brochures can be found at yourdrinkingwater.ca, a page that is full of helpful advice.
Most rural residents rely on groundwater from dug or drilled wells their private water supply. If you own your own well, you are responsible for it. You must make sure it is constructed to provincial standards. You must also arrange to have your water tested regularly.
NO SWEAT: Réjean Cardinal with a water tank cover that prevents condensation from building up.