File No. 33462

This rule was published in the April 1, 2010, issue (Vol. 2010, No. 7) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Environmental Quality, Drinking Water

Section R309-515-6

Ground Water - Wells

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 33462
Filed: 03/15/2010 04:21:16 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

Subsection R309-515-6(5)(b) is being amended to allow other qualified individuals, besides state engineers, to become authorized to witness the grouting of wells during construction and issue well seal certifications letters.

Summary of the rule or change:

This amendment to Subsection R309-515-6(5)(b) clarifies those who are authorized to witness the grouting of a well during construction, defines how an individual can become authorized, and states the requirements of the well certification letter.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 19-4-104

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

None--The State was compensated for the time state engineers performed a well grout witness.

local governments:

None--This rule does not apply to local government.

small businesses:

None--This rule does not apply to small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

None--This rule does not apply to other entities, except for well drillers, well consultants, and public water systems. It is not anticipated there will be a significant difference between what state engineers or other authorized individuals will charge for travel and hours to perform this function.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There should be no significant change to well drillers, well consultants, or public water systems by this rule amendment since state engineers or authorized individuals should charge a similar price for travel and hours to perform this function.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

It is not anticipated that there will be any cost change for an authorized person to witness the grouting of a well during construction and to issue well seal certifications letters.

Amanda Smith, Excutive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Environmental Quality
Drinking Water
150 N 1950 W
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116-3085

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Ying-Ying Macauley at the above address, by phone at 801-536-4188, by FAX at 801-536-4211, or by Internet E-mail at
  • Bob Hart at the above address, by phone at 801-536-0054, by FAX at 801-536-4211, or by Internet E-mail at

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Ken Bousfield, Director


R309. Environmental Quality, Drinking Water.

R309-515. Facility Design and Operation: Source Development.

R309-515-6. Ground Water - Wells.

(1) Required Treatment.

If properly developed, water from wells may be suitable for culinary use without treatment. A determination as to whether treatment may be required can only be made after the source has been developed and evaluated.

(2) Standby Power.

Water suppliers, particularly community water suppliers, should assess the capability of their system in the event of a power outage. If gravity fed spring sources are not available, one or more of the system's well sources should be equipped for operation during power outages. In this event:

(a) To ensure continuous service when the primary power has been interrupted, a power supply should be provided through connection to at least two independent public power sources, or portable or in-place auxiliary power available as an alternative; and

(b) When automatic pre-lubrication of pump bearings is necessary, and an auxiliary power supply is provided, the pre-lubrication line should be provided with a valved by-pass around the automatic control, or the automatic control shall be wired to the emergency power source.

(3) The Utah Division of Water Rights.

The Utah Division of Water Rights (State Engineer's Office) regulates the drilling of water wells. Before the drilling of a well commences, the well driller must receive a start card from the State Engineer's Office. For public drinking water supply wells the rules of R655-4 still apply and must be followed in addition to these rules.

(4) Source Protection.

Public drinking water systems are responsible for protecting their sources from contamination. The selection of a well location shall only be made after consideration of the requirements of R309-600. Sources shall be located in an area which will minimize threats from existing or potential sources of pollution.

If certain precautions are taken, sewer lines may be permitted within a public drinking water system's source protection zones at the discretion of the Executive Secretary. When sewer lines are permitted in protection zones both sewer lines and manholes shall be specially constructed as follows:

(a) sewer lines shall be ductile iron pipe with mechanical joints or fusion welded high density polyethylene plastic pipe (solvent welded joints shall not be accepted);

(b) lateral to main connection shall be shop fabricated or saddled with a mechanical clamping watertight device designed for the specific pipe;

(c) the sewer pipe to manhole connections shall made using a shop fabricated sewer pipe seal ring cast into the manhole base (a mechanical joint shall be installed within 12 inches of the manhole base on each line entering the manhole, regardless of the pipe material);

(d) the sewer pipe shall be laid with no greater than 2 percent deflection at any joint;

(e) backfill shall be compacted to not less than 95 percent of maximum laboratory density as determined in accordance with ASTM Standard D-690;

(f) sewer manholes shall meet the following requirements:

(i) the manhole base and walls, up to a point at least 12 inches above the top of the upper most sewer pipe entering the manhole, shall be shop fabricated in a single concrete pour.

(ii) the manholes shall be constructed of reinforced concrete.

(iii) all sewer lines and manholes shall be air pressure tested after installation.

(5) Outline of Well Approval Process.

(a) Well drilling shall not commence until both of the following items are submitted and receive a favorable review:

(i) a Preliminary Evaluation Report on source protection issues as required by R309-600-13, and

(ii) engineering plans and specifications governing the well drilling, prepared by a licensed well driller holding a current Utah Well Drillers Permit if previously authorized by the Executive Secretary or prepared, signed and stamped by a licensed professional engineer or professional geologist licensed to practice in Utah.

(b) Grouting Inspection During Well Construction.

[An engineer from the Division, or the appropriate district engineer of the Department of Environmental Quality, an authorized representative of the State Engineer's Office, or an individual authorized by the Executive Secretary shall be contacted at least three days before the anticipated beginning of the well grouting procedure (see R309-515-6(6)(i)). The well grouting procedure shall be witnessed by one of these individuals or their designee.](i) Authorized Individuals

(A) The following individuals are authorized to witness the well sealing procedure for a public drinking water well:

(I) An engineer or a geologist from the Division of Drinking Water,

(II) A district engineer of the Department of Environmental Quality,

(III) An authorized representative of the Division of Water Rights, or

(IV) An individual having written authorization from the Executive Secretary and meeting the below listed criteria.

(B) At the time of the well sealing an individual, who is authorized per (i)(A)(IV), shall present to the well driller a copy of the letter authorizing him or her to witness a well sealing on behalf of the Division of Drinking Water. A copy of this letter shall be appended to the witness certification letter.

(C) At least three days before the anticipated well grouting the well driller shall arrange for an authorized witness listed in (i)(A) above to witness the procedure. (See R309-515-6(6)(i)).

(ii) Obtaining Authorization

(A) To be authorized per (i)(A)(IV) above to witness a well sealing procedure, an individual must have no relationship to the driller or the well's owner and have at least five years professional experience designing wells, supervising well drilling or other equivalent experience associated with well drilling or well sealing that are acceptable to the Executive Secretary.

(B) Individuals, desiring the Executive Secretary's authorization to witness a well grouting procedure, shall provide the following information to the Executive Secretary for review over his or her signature attesting to the correctness of the information:

(I) A detailed description of the applicant's experience with well drilling projects, including number of years of experience and type of work. Three references confirming this professional experience are required.

(II) Evidence of licensure as a professional engineer or professional geologist in Utah.

(III) No relationship may exist between a person authorized to witness well sealings and a well driller that would serve as the basis for suspicion of favoritism, leniency or punitive action in the performance of this task. Examples of such relationships would be: family; former long term employment; business partnerships, either formal or informal; etc. The Executive Secretary's decision, with right of appeal to the Drinking Water Board, shall be accepted relative to what constitutes a conflict of interest or a relationship sufficient to disqualify an applicant from all or specific witness opportunities.

(IV) An acknowledgement that he/she would not be acting as an agent or employee of the State of Utah and any losses incurred while acting as a witness would not be covered by governmental immunity or Utah's insurance.

(VI) Willingness to follow established protocols and attend such training events as may be required by the Executive Secretary.

(VII) Complete with a minimum 75% passing grade, an examination on water well drilling rules, as offered by the Division of Water Rights.

(C) The Executive Secretary may rescind the authorization if an individual fails to comply with the criteria or conditions of authorization listed above.

(iii) Well Seal Certification

The individual witnessing the well sealing procedure shall provide a signed letter to the Executive Secretary within 30 days of the well sealing including the following:

(A) Certification that the well sealing procedure met all the requirements of Rule R309-515-6(6)(i);

(B) The water right under which the well was drilled and the well driller's license number;

(C) The public water system name (if applicable);

(D) The latitude and longitude of the well and method used for its determination;

(E) The well head's approximate elevation;

(F) Casing diameter(s), length(s), and material(s);

(G) The size of the annulus between the borehole and casing;

(H) A description of the sealing process including the sealing material used, its volume, density, method of placement, and depth from surface; and

(I) The names and company affiliations of other individuals observing the sealing procedure including, but not limited to the well driller, the well owner, and/or a consultant.

(c) After completion of the well drilling the following information shall be submitted and receive a favorable review before water from the well can be introduced into a public water system:

(i) a copy of the "Report of Well Driller" as required by the State Engineer's Office which is complete in all aspects and has been stamped as received by the same;

(ii) a copy of the letter from the authorized individual described in R309-515-6(5)(b) above, indicating inspection and confirmation that the well was grouted in accordance with the well drilling specifications and the requirements of this rule;

(iii) a copy of the pump test including the yield vs. drawdown test as described in R309-515-6(10)(b) along with comments / interpretation by a licensed professional engineer or licensed professional geologist of the graphic drawdown information required by R309-515-6(b)(vi)(E);

(iv) a copy of the chemical analyses required by R309-515-4(5);

(v) documentation indicating that the water system owner has a right to divert water for domestic or municipal purposes from the well source;

(vi) a copy of complete plans and specifications prepared, signed and stamped by a licensed professional engineer covering the well housing, equipment and diversion piping necessary to introduce water from the well into the distribution system; and

(vii) a bacteriological analysis of water obtained from the well after installation of permanent equipment, disinfection and flushing.

(d) An Operation Permit shall be obtained in accordance with R309-500-9 before any water from the well is introduced into a public water system.


. . . . . . .


(13) Well House Construction.

The use of a well house is strongly recommended, particularly in installations utilizing above ground motors.

In addition to applicable provisions of R309-540, well pump houses shall conform to the following:

(a) Casing Projection Above Floor.

The permanent casing for all ground water wells shall project at least 12 inches above the pump house floor or concrete apron surface and at least 18 inches above the final ground surface. However, casings terminated in underground vaults may be permitted if the vault is provided with a drain to daylight sized to handle in excess of the well flow and surface runoff is directed away from the vault access.

(b) Floor Drain.

Where a well house is constructed the floor surface shall be at least six inches above the final ground elevation and shall be sloped to provide drainage. A "drain-to-daylight" shall be provided unless highly impractical.

(c) Earth Berm.

Sites subject to flooding shall be provided with an earth berm terminating at an elevation at least two feet above the highest known flood elevation or other suitable protection as determined by the Executive Secretary.

(d) Well Casing Termination at Flood Sites.

The top of the well casing at sites subject to flooding shall terminate at least 3 feet above the 100 year flood level or the highest known flood elevation, whichever is higher (refer to R309-515-6(6)(b)(vi)).

(e) Miscellaneous.

The well house shall be ventilated, heated and lighted in such a manner as to assure adequate protection of the equipment (refer to R309-540-5(2) (a) through (h) .

(f) Fencing.

Where necessary to protect the quality of the well water the Executive Secretary may require that certain wells be fenced in a manner similar to fencing required around spring areas.

(g) Access.

An access shall be provided either through the well house roof or sidewalls in the event the pump must be pulled for replacement or servicing the well.


KEY: drinking water, source development, source maintenance

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [February 15, 2009] 2010

Notice of Continuation: April 2, 2007

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 19-4-104


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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Ying-Ying Macauley at the above address, by phone at 801-536-4188, by FAX at 801-536-4211, or by Internet E-mail at; Bob Hart at the above address, by phone at 801-536-0054, by FAX at 801-536-4211, or by Internet E-mail at