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Further Discussion on Water Permits In Maryland: The Well Construction Permit

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

By Ashley Ellixson

Aerial picture of a lake surrounded by forest, houses and fields (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

As you can see, I am creating a theme of blog posts focusing on water permits and the details you need to know in order to be in compliance for the water use you may be seeking or are already partaking in. Continuing our discussion about the water appropriation and use permit, I have outlined a few other permits that I will post over the next few days that may be required in conjunction with other water permits. For example, if you are looking to irrigate your crop, you may need a water appropriation and use permit as well as a well construction permit if you are building a well and plan on sourcing water from underground. It is important to note that permits are specific in nature and vary depending on each specific case and region in Maryland.

Well Construction Permit

When determining whether you need to apply for a well permit or not, you must ask yourself am I planning on having a well drilled on my property to obtain groundwater? If your answer to this question is YES, then you have come to the right place. I have outlined all you need to know in order to navigate the permit process for well construction.

Why do I need this approval?

This permit is required before any well is installed or constructed to allow the State to make sure that all regulations are met in order to prevent contamination to the groundwater source. This program is in place to ensure a clean and adequate supply of underground water.

How do I apply for the permit?

If you are an agriculture producer but are NOT a dairy, contact your county health department for all details concerning the application process. It is necessary to note that if the well application is for potable water use, the most probable source or sources of drilling water should be listed (up to 3 sources).

Cows looking into the camera (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

If you ARE a dairy, you must proceed through the Department of the Environment for your application process. It is necessary to note that if the well application is for potable water use, the most probable source or sources of drilling water should be listed (up to 3 sources). In addition, there is a list of measurement requirements that are important to address about the well site such as (1) it must be 10 feet from any property line, (2) 15 feet from a road, (3) 30 feet from a building foundation, (4) 50 feet from any sewer line unless the sewer is made from cast iron pipe and water tight then the requirement is 10 feet, and (5) be located to be easily accessible for cleaning, treatment, repair, testing, inspection, and such other attention if necessary. This is not a complete list of all requirements so be sure to address all measurements with the Department before construction.

The link to the application document is:


How long will it take to get permit approval?

Approximately 30 days.


Each county establishes a fee, but cannot exceed $160.

How long will my permit be valid?

12 months

#dairy #permit #waterlaw #wellcrontruction

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