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Landowner Constructed Wells

Because of the complexity of Oregon’s geologic formations and the importance of correct well construction, the Department recommends retaining a licensed bonded well constructor to drill your water well. However a property owner may construct their own well in the state of Oregon provided that they adhere to the rules outlined below.

Landowner Well Construction Permit, Fee and Bond

  1. The Water Resources Commission requires a permit, permit fee, and bond or irrevocable letter of credit, for each water supply well constructed, altered, converted, or abandoned by a landowner, unless the landowner is a licensed and bonded Water Supply Well Constructor. The landowner permit and bond shall be obtained prior to beginning work on a well.
  2. To receive a Landowner Well permit, a person must submit the following:
    • A completed application form, containing:
      • The property owner's name, address and telephone number
      • The surety company's name, address and telephone number
      • The proposed location of the well by township, range, section, tax-lot number if assigned, and street address
      • The proposed use of the water supply well
      • The type of proposed work
      • Well design plan on form approved by the Department
    • A properly executed Landowner's Water Well Bond or Irrevocable Letter of Credit in the amount of $10,000 as specified under ORS 537.753.
    • A permit fee of $500
  3. Only the owner of record, a member of the immediate family of the owner of record, or a full time employee of the owner of record, (whose main duties are other than the construction of wells), may operate a well drilling machine under a landowner's permit.
  4. A landowner permit issued pursuant to these rules shall expire six months from the date of issuance
    • A water well report shall be submitted within 30 days of expiration of the landowner permit describing the work completed thus far, or within 30 days of completion of the well, whichever occurs first.
  5. If the landowner permit expires, a landowner may reapply for a new landowner permit.
  6. The Department may deny a landowner permit if it is determined that the construction, alteration, abandonment, or conversion of the proposed well is a health threat, a health hazard, a source of contamination, or a source of waste of the groundwater resource.