Groundwater Protection Program
The Groundwater Protection Program protects and monitors groundwater quality and works towards restoration of groundwater that has been impacted by contaminants. Program staff administer the following subprograms: Source Water Protection, Underground Injection Control, and Agricultural and Western Groundwater Monitoring.
Program Manager - 701-328-5213
Source Water Protection Program
The North Dakota Source Water Protection Program was developed in response to the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act amendments that require all states to define and assess the source waters of public water systems. All public water systems that have wells or intakes are participants in the Source Water Protection Program. Three elements of the Source Water Protection Program are federally-mandated requirements and are completed by the Department of Environmental Quality, while the remaining elements can be pursued voluntarily by the governing body of the public water system. The North Dakota Source Water Assessment Strategic Plan was approved by EPA in 1999 and updated in 2018.
Underground Injection Control Program
The Safe Drinking Water Act established the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program to provide safeguards so that injection wells do not endanger current and future underground sources of drinking water (USDW). The most accessible fresh water is stored in shallow geological formations called aquifers and is the most vulnerable to contamination. These aquifers feed our lakes; provide recharge to our streams and rivers, particularly during dry periods; and serve as resources for 92 percent of public water systems in the United States.
Water Well Information
Water Well Construction
Construction of water wells and installation of pumps and pitless units is regulated under Water Well Construction Rules - NDAC 33.1-18-01.
North Dakota does not regulate private well placement or water quality.
Groundwater Monitoring Well Construction
Construction of monitoring wells is regulated under Groundwater Monitoring Well Construction Rules - NDAC
Water Well Contractor Licensing
All drilling and construction of water wells or monitoring wells and
installation of water well pumps or pitless units must be performed by a
contractor certified by the North Dakota State Board of Water Well
Contractors. This does not restrict someone from constructing a well for
their own use on their own property.
The certified water well contractor, pump and
pitless unit installer, or monitoring well contractor whose decal is on
the primary equipment shall actually be in charge of its operation. A
person is in charge only when the person has actual supervisory power over
the work and makes onsite inspections of the work and progress.
Rules for certification of drilling contractors or pump installers are found in State Board of Water Well
Contractors - NDAC 90-01 and 90-02.
The Agricultural and Western Groundwater Monitoring Programs were established to determine the impacts on the state’s groundwater quality by agriculture and oilfield activities, respectively, while maintaining baseline descriptions of general water chemistry in these areas. Both programs monitor surficial aquifers that are more vulnerable to these types of contamination. Many North Dakotans rely on groundwater sources, especially surficial aquifers, for drinking water and various other uses; ensuring the state’s water stays free of contamination helps preserve the water for these uses both now and in the future.