Frequently Asked Questions


Well Drilling

Q: Do I have to have a well driller's license to drill my own well?

A: Yes. Every water well drilled in the state of Nevada must be drilled by a licensed well driller pursuant to NRS 534.160.

Q: When is a sanitary seal deeper than 50' required on a well?

A: Pursuant to Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 534.390 (these regulations), no perforations are allowed in the first 100 feet of the well and the well must have a minimum 100 foot sanitary seal where the well is within ¼ mile of a river, lake perennial stream, unlined reservoir or unlined canal. Also, there may be other seal requirements as described in the water rights permit terms or even by another agency such as public health or where poor water quality is encountered.

Q: When drilling a replacement well, do I have to plug the old well?

A: Yes. Permission to drill the replacement well is contingent upon the plugging of the old well. In advance of drilling a replacement well, it is important that the owner understand that the old well needs to be plugged and abandoned immediately following the drilling of the new well. In some cases, if the old well is going to be used for domestic purposes only, a waiver may be requested of this office allowing for the well to not be plugged.

Q: When is a waiver required to drill a monitor well?

A: A waiver is required from the division when:

  1. The construction of the monitor well deviates from the standard as described in NAC 534.4351 through 534.4365, or
  2. A monitoring well is to be installed for a reason other than to comply with an environmental order or other permit requirements.

In all cases, there must be an Affidavit of Intent to Abandon on file with the state engineer prior to drilling any monitor well and, it is still the licensed well driller's responsibility to file a notice of intent card and a well log.

Q: What is the format for the well driller's licensing exam?

A: The well driller's examination now consists of three parts:

  • Part 1 is a written examination to determine the applicant's knowledge of the rules and regulations for drilling wells in the state of Nevada.
  • Part 2 requires the applicant to identify a well location on a topographic map by full legal description.
  • Part 3 is an oral interview by the Statewide Well Driller's Board regarding the applicant's experience and knowledge of general drilling practices.

Q: Do I need to hire a licensed well driller to install cathodic protection borings?

A: No. However, if the construction of the boring may cause waste or contamination of the ground water, it must be treated as a borehole pursuant to NAC 534.4369 and 534.4371.

Q: Do I need to hire a licensed well driller to install closed loop geothermal borings used in conjunction with heat exchangers to heat homes?

A: No. However, if the construction of the boring may cause waste or contamination of the ground water, it must be treated as a borehole pursuant to NAC 534.4369 and 534.4371. Also, as long as there is no consumptive use, a water right does not need to be obtained from the state engineer. The Division of Minerals should be contacted prior to these installations however.

Q: What if I can't complete a well pursuant to the Regulations?

A: The state engineer's approval of a written request is required to waive any of the regulations.