Module 3 — Design and Construction of Water Wells
Design and Construction of Water Wells
The initial investment for a properly designed and constructed well pays off by ensuring:
A reliable and sustainable water supply consistent with your needs and the
capability of the aquifer
Good quality water that is free of sediment and contaminants
Increased life expectancy of the well
Reduced operating and maintenance costs
Ease of monitoring well performance.
Although you need to hire a licensed water well contractor to design, drill and construct
the well and choose the appropriate materials, it is important for you to know what is going
on. You can then work with the contractor to ensure you get the well design you need.
Choosing a Licensed Water Well Contractor
Choose a licensed water well contractor who has experience in your area and knows the
local geology. Provincial regulation requires that drilling companies have an approval to
drill water wells and their drillers must be certified journeyman water well drillers. A list
of approval holders is available through Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource
Development (AESRD). You can also contact the Alberta Water Well Drilling Association for
a list of approval holders in your area. Refer to Module 11 “Contacts for More Information”.
Either you or the licensed water well contractor should complete a survey of existing
wells in your area. It will provide important information about:
Typical yields and water quality
Which aquifer to tap into
Trends in well design and construction
Prior drilling success rates.
The Groundwater Information Centre at Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource
Development manages the Alberta Water Well Information Database that has records of
water wells in Alberta. Copies of these records can be obtained by calling (780) 427-2770 or
can be viewed at
In some areas of Alberta, regional groundwater assessment studies are also available
and may identify aquifer potential and groundwater quality. Also check with neighbours
about their experiences with well performance, well maintenance and water quality changes.
For more information see Module 1
Understanding Groundwater" and Module 2
Planning Your Water System".
A licensed water well contractor cannot
always determine in advance the depth
at which an adequate water supply will
be found. Neighbouring wells offer some
guidance but not a definite assurance.
For more information refer to
the Water Wells That Last video (Part I —
Planning and Construction).