can answer most of the important questions you need answered as you start this process. Well drillers are required to keep a log of all water wells in Texas they drill. Is this public record? When I first started researching for a friend who was interested in drilling a water well themselves, I was amazed at how difficult the process of finding out well depths of wells near their land. Eventually I stumbled onto the public record. Good news is if you found Water Well Drilling Texas first, your search is over.
The first step in finding water wells in Texas is locating your quadrant on the map. You need to use the grid numbers to get the water wells that are the closest in proximity to where you are wanting to drill. If you are having trouble figuring out your grid #, I found its easiest to Google map your location, then use landmarks to hone in on the grid. Once a grid is selected click on the corresponding grid # with correct county and it should launch a PDF of the water wells in Texas that are on record. An example is shown below:
There are some essential items on this report that are going to help you determine what your project is going to entail. Since this detail is critical to your success, I suggest creating a spreadsheet with the information you collect.
Diameter of hole- The diameter gives you a good idea of the type of machinery needed. If it is wider that 6 inches, they used one of these . It doesn’t mean that it can’t be done with something smaller, but if you look at all the reports and that is all they are using…
Depth of hole- You wouldn’t be here is you needed that one explained to you.
Drilling Method- this is really important for that spreadsheet I was talking about. Once you see how others have done it successfully, no reason to go against the grain.
Formation Description- another critical item, keeping track of the cutting coming out at the different depths and then comparing them to the spreadsheet tells helps you to determine which wells have similar formations and the most critical step of when to expect water.
Casing info- I’ve found this information to be the most variable. Different regions, decades, driller practices, and laws all play a factor in drilling a water well in Texas. Again, the spreadsheet and the age of the wells should play a major role in determining what’s best for your well.
There really isn’t anything on this report that isn’t important. You may do this research and decide it might be too much and higher a driller. In that drillers initial consultation you will be more educated on the process and be able make a more informed decision on which driller experienced in drilling water wells in Texas to use.
I recently spoke to a state Representative and asked him what he thought about the water issues Texas was facing and he said the past two legislative sessions he estimated the 60% of all the bills put forward for vote had something to do with water. Drilling a water well in Texas might soon become the rule rather than the exception.
As you probably are aware, if you live inside your city limits it is a daunting task to try and get a permit for one. Unless your municipal doesn’t offer city water, drilling a water well in Texas is not an option. You can usually apply for a variance and there have been people approved for uses such as agriculture or livestock. Most likely you are going to need a lawyer to help you with this. If you are a lawyer that can do this I will be happy to link your information, please use our contact form.
Most of the state is split up into 16 management areas and 87 ground water conservation districts. Each is its own unique governing body but they do many of the same things. They are the authority that will approve or deny your application for a water well permit. Click here for a map of the districts.
Getting a well permit without a drilling license looks to be difficult even though it seems like the states website has a provision for the landowner to do this:
§ 1901.052. Rules
(a) The commission shall adopt rules as necessary to enforce this chapter, including rules governing:
(1) license applications;
(2) qualifications of applicants;
(3) standards of conduct for drillers, including standards for marking well drilling rigs and equipment; and
(4) procedures and practices before the department.
(b) The commission may not adopt a rule under this chapter that:
(1) regulates the installation or repair of well pumps and equipment by:
(A) a person on property the person owns or controls for the person’s own use;
(B) an employee of a person described by Paragraph (A); or
(C) a person who is not hired or compensated and who acts on behalf of a person described by Paragraph (A); or
(2) requires a person who owns or controls property or possesses a well to complete, repair, or retrofit the well to any standard other than a standard in effect at the time the well was originally completed unless the well is found to be a threat to public health and safety or to water quality.
It looks like the proper way to test this would be after pulling the existing water wells in Texas that are in close proximity and figuring out the correct groundwater conservation district, the next logical step is to apply and see what happens. I pulled these steps off of one of the ground water conservation districts website:
Step 1 – Submit permit applications and fees associated with the applications to the District.
Step 2 – District determines application to be administratively complete.
Step 3 – Application is scheduled for the next Board of Directors meeting and notice of permit hearing is posted in the newspaper.
Step 4 – If application is approved by the Board, the permit fee statement is issued and mailed for the amount of water requested.
Step 5 – Once fees have been received by the District the permit is issued and mail to Permittee.
Step 6 – Once drilling is complete the well log is due to the District.
You have to put a meter on it and keep a monthly log of the meter readings. You send in a pump report due Feb 15th, an annual permit renewal fee due Oct 31st, and annual usage fees due Jan 1st. The usage fee is upfront for the year. Whether or not they accept permit applications from landowners who want to drill their own wells is still yet to be determined. If you have successfully done this or have information on it, please use Water Well Drilling Texas‘ contact us link or shoot me a quick email. I know all GRD’s are different and would like to compile a list of which ones have approved drilling a water well in Texas by the landowner.
As we discussed in water well cleaning, well water chlorination might be an annual maintenance you need to do to make sure your water stays safe to drink and continues to provide you with water free from bacteria and micro organisms. Some people call it, “shocking a well.” Not only does it act as a disinfectant, it also temporarily eliminates hydrogen sulphide to improve smell and temporarily removes manganese and iron deposits. The most common -used well water chlorinator is Clorox bleach.
You should send your test water out at the beginning of spring and after your last freeze. This allows for growth to occur if there is any. After getting your water test results back and concluding that you need to use a well water chlorinator, you need to determine how much bleach to use. This is a the most important step. Too much of the Clorox and you will taste it, too little, and the disinfectant properties of the well water chlorinator will be too diluted and won’t do its job. There is a way to fix the first one that we will get to in a second, but if you don’t use enough you will end up having to do it again.
-To determine the correct amount for the well water chlorination process you will need to know the diameter of your well and your water wells depth. After determining this, you can reference the chart below from the gnb website for the correct amount. If your water well is over 200 feet, like most wells in Texas, you might want to get chlorine tablets.
So now you know the amount for the well water chlorination process. There are a few things that you need to do. You will need to load up on water in the house or make other arrangements as the water well chlorination process takes a minimum of 12-24 hours. Next unhook/disconnect any filter or filtration system. Hook up a water house to a source that will be able to provide a few hundred gallons back into the well. This will be used to flush the water chlorinator out.
After the system is prepped and ready to go you can pour in the Clorox and/or tablets. You can now turn on the water hose and let it feed down into the well for an hour. Now turn on each faucet in the house one at a time until you smell chlorine. Quickly shut it off and move to the next one. Once you have done this for all faucets/shower heads/toilets you have chlorinated your entire system. Do not use the system for up at least 12 hours and let the Clorox work its magic. If you can start the process before dark you can let it go overnight. Basically leave it in as long as possible.
The next morning you will take the hose end that was feeding the well. Place it away from the well and somewhere where you are ok with (remember its bleach) it draining. You will turn that hose on at a steady rate but not completely open to avoid draining the well. You will begin checking the hose output for chlorine smell after about 2 hours. Once it is gone or faint move on to the other faucets and do the same for them. Once satisfied the flush is complete reconnect your filter system. You may want to wait a few days to drink the water.
If anyone else has any tips or would like more specifics, please use the Water Well Drilling Texas comment section below! The well water chlorination process isn’t as tough as it sounds…
Water well cleaning starts with identifying what’s going on with your water well. This needs to be a yearly occurrence that not only gives you piece of mind, but also prevents issues in the future. Its very much like a car, a water wells performance depends on identifying issues early and addressing them before a costly repair is necessary.
First step in cleaning water wells is to inspect the exposed parts. Look at the top of the well casing. Corrosion or cracking isn’t uncommon but need to be noted that it doesn’t get worse. You may want to extend the well casing if it is around 12 inches below the ground (common on older wells). If it is too far below ground level it will act as a “catcher” of everything from leaves to runoff. Its best to have a gentle slope moving away from it so runoff never collects. This component of water well cleaning can be done easily on a wet day with a shovel! Make sure your well cap is good and closed, and no cracks are forming. Obviously check your connections at all your fittings and valve, making sure there are no slow leaks. Its not a bad idea to take pictures of anything that you may feel might be an issue. An email response is much cheaper than a service call.
Water Testing and Inspection
There isn’t a single place online that doesn’t suggest getting your water tested annually. Water Well Drilling Texas is no different. Often folks get accustomed to the water since they are ingesting it daily and don’t notice changes because they are usually slow over time. Annual water tests help to identify issues that the standard eye test or taste can’t. Testing for bacteria and contaminants is standard. You don’t know what has changed in the environment (particularly in the spring). Get a water test.
Hard water is something everybody notices because nearly everyone is effected, whether you have a water well or not. Water softeners are common enough not to be explained. If your water is cloudy, gray, or murky, it is due to turbidity. Turbidity is usually due to dissolved solids. Another reason to get the water tested. Well water usually doesn’t have a chlorine taste unless you have added too much when doing your last water well cleaning (More on chlorinating water wells). Chlorinating is an essential part of water well cleaning. Flushing your water well system might be in order if you want to enjoy a glass of water and not wear out the rubber seals in your appliances.
Water well cleaning is more about inspecting and testing. If the car is running well, keep taking care of it and make sure to get it an annual once over! Cleaning water wells may be a chore but it will save you in the long run.
There are some great companies and organizations out there with a shared goal of getting clean water to remote villages in Africa. Many are non-profit 501C(3) who have been digging wells in Africa to meet their growing need as their population expands.
Water Wells for Africa- WWFA is a 16-year old non-profit organization started by Kurt Dahlin after a trip to southern Malawi. There stated goal is to “rural African community development by providing sustainable water sources and reducing health risks associated with contaminated water.” They respect native African culture while empowering it towards sustainability. As of 2011, WWFA’s African water wells have provided over 260,000 people clean drinking water. 97% percent of their wells are still in operation. WWFA has truly been a pioneer for digging wells in Africa.
The Water Project-A Christian non-profit organization that believes the works they do motivates action and they describe themselves as non-religious. They empower non-government organizations and missionaries that already exist with money and expertise for drilling wells in Africa. They believe in helping the local communities with end-to-end solution with the community driving the entire project. “So simply put, we follow the teaching of Jesus who has called each of us to act, in this world, for peace and justice by loving our neighbor — however, whenever and wherever we can.”
H20 Africa Foundation- H2OAfrica assists in African water well projects through training and maintenance to provide complete and integrated water programs. They teamed up with a film company to make a feature film, Running the Sahara. It was produced by LivePlanet, Allentown Productions and Independent Producers Alliance (“IPA”) and was aired on National Geographic. In September 2006, three men set out to become the first humans in history to run coast to coast across the Sahara desert. Directed by Academy Award winner James Moll and Narrated and Executive Produced by Academy Award winner Matt Damon, Running the Sahara is a feature length documentary chronicling this historic expedition.
Many other great organizations exist and all need your help on current projects. These non-profits can be find by a simple Google search:
Glimmer of Hope Foundation
Ryan’s Well Foundation
Living Water International
Rwanda Clean Water Project
All of these companies have been successful in digging wells in Africa and run completely on charitable donations. I encourage you to check them out, and if you feel led to do so, figure out how you can help out! Water Well Drill Texas is!!