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Water Well Contractor


In New York State, a water well contractor is any qualified person registered and certified to supervise on-site water well drilling activities for compensation. Water well drilling activities include -- but are not limited to -- construction and reconstruction of water wells, establishment or repair of a connection through a water well casing, and other water well repairs, including those which require opening a water well casing.

Certification Requirements:

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) 15-1525 mandates that on-site supervision of water well drilling activities be performed by an exam-certified individual.

Applicants seeking to become a registered water well contractor in New York State must submit a completed application form and annual fee to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Any business proposing to engage in water well drilling activities in New York State must first obtain an annual registration certificate from NYSDEC. The Department must be notified prior to initiating the drilling of a water well anywhere within the State of New York. A water well completion report must be submitted to NYSDEC upon completion of the drilling of a water well; a copy of this report must also be provided to the owner of the new well.

Separate certification is required for drilling and pump installation for those contractors engaging in both activities.

Education Requirements:

There are no minimum education or training requirements.

Experience Requirement:

There are no minimum work experience requirements.

Fees: (as of July 1, 2014)

  • $75 -- Examination (per sitting)
  • $10 -- Annual registration

Examination Requirements:

  • NGWA Certification Exam (National Ground Water Association Certification Examination)
  • Multiple-choice format, 2 parts: Part 1 -- general examination and Part 2 -- specialty examination (selected by examinee)
  • Minimum passing score -- 70 percent

Note: A New York State-registered water well contractor must provide evidence of successful completion of the NGWA Certification Examination upon demand of any authorized enforcement officer.

A Certification Examination study guide is available through the Empire State Water Well Driller Association (ESWDA). This website contains exam registration information as well as a schedule for New York State Exams.

Certificates Issued and Active:

As of July 1, 2014, there were 464 active certificates outstanding for this occupation.

Certification Authority:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Water, Water Well Program
625 Broadway, 4th FL
Albany, New York 12233-3508
Toll-Free: 1-877-472-2619
Phone: (518) 402-8291
Fax: (518) 402-8290

Standard Occupational Classification:

47-5021 - Earth Drillers, Except Gas and Oil
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 7/7/14.

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