What you need to know about your well

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

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.

Yield test

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.

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