High capacity well replacements
Under 2017 Wisconsin Act 10, replacement high capacity wells do not require department approval, provided they meet all four of the following criteria.
- The replacement well is consistent with the construction and pumpage conditions of the previously approved high capacity well.
- The replacement well will be constructed in compliance with current code requirements (ch. NR 812, Wis. Adm. Code).
- The replacement well complies with any of the three following conditions:
- the purpose of the replacement is to remedy or prevent contamination;
- the replacement well is drilled to substantially the same depth as the existing well and is located within 75 feet of the existing high capacity well; or
- the replacement well is drilled to substantially the same depth as the existing well and it is located farther from the nearest Groundwater Protection Area and not located in any other Groundwater Protection Area.
- The existing high capacity well is filled and sealed in accordance with current department standards within 90 days following the construction of the replacement high capacity well.
NOTE: If the new high capacity well does not meet all of the criteria above to be considered a replacement well, prior department approval is required, including submittal of a high capacity well application and $500 fee. Follow the process to apply for a high capacity well. 2017 Wisconsin Act 10 does not affect any applications or prior department approvals required for replacement of public water supply systems, or school or wastewater treatment plant wells under Chapters NR 108, 810, 811 and 812, Wis. Admin. Code.
Program guidance and a webcast have been developed to convey 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.
Steps to take to construct a replacement high capacity well
If the new high capacity well does meet all of the criteria to be considered a replacement well, no department approval is required per 281.34(2g)(a), Wis. Stats. However, the following steps are still required.
- Notify the appropriate DNR regional water supply specialist at least one work day prior to starting construction of the replacement high capacity well.
- Within 90 days following well construction activities, submit to the DNR:
- a well construction report for the replacement well, including the original well's Wisconsin Unique Well Number and high capacity well number, and
- a well filling and sealing report for the original well, including its high capacity well number.
The department will assign a new high capacity well number to the replacement well and provide the owner with the new well information for future reference.