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High capacity well application and instructions

A high capacity well is a well that has the capacity to withdraw more than 100,000 gallons per day, or a well that, together with all other wells on the same property, has a capacity of more than 100,000 gallons per day. Residential wells and fire protection wells are excluded from the definition of a high capacity well, and their pumping capacities are not included in the calculation of a property's well capacity.

Prior approval needed

In accordance with sections NR 812.09(4)(a) & (b), Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR], prior department approval is necessary for the construction or operation of a high capacity well system, school well or wastewater treatment plant well.

Prior department approval may not be needed for the repair, reconstruction, replacement or transfer of existing high capacity wells if certain criteria are met as prescribed under Wisconsin 2017 Act 10 (281.34(2g), Wis. Stats) [exit DNR]. Program guidance [PDF] and a webcast have been developed to help department staff, well drillers and property owners understand and apply consistent requirements under 2017 Wisconsin Act 10 as it relates to the criteria associated with the repair, reconstruction, replacement and transfer of existing high capacity wells.

How to apply for a high capacity well

An applicant requesting approval to construct a new high capacity well or well system or increase pump capacity in a previously approved high capacity well must complete one of the applications found below and submit a $500 fee made payable to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as part of the application. Applications and fees should be mailed to the address listed in the upper left-hand corner of the application forms or in the instruction packages found below.

An application for a high capacity well system, well for a school or well for a wastewater treatment plant should be made on the appropriate form, as follows.

DNR PDF forms

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How to apply for a dewatering well

An applicant requesting approval to construct a new high capacity dewatering well must complete the applications found below and submit a $500 fee made payable to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as part of the application. Applications and fees should be mailed to the address listed in the upper left-hand corner of the application forms or in the instruction packages found below.


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