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Homeowner help
for private wells.
Property transfers
and inspections.
Drillers and installers
resources and information.

Well and heat exchange notification

Wisconsin law requires that a property owner provide advance notice to DNR before construction of any new private well that is not a high capacity well, and advance notice of any heat exchange drillhole construction (geothermal system) that does not require a written DNR approval. The law recognizes the importance of proper location and construction for all wells and drillholes. In order to increase the number of compliance inspections of private wells and drillholes, section 281.34(3), Wisconsin Statutes [exit DNR], requires advanced notice before construction. Exceptions to the notification requirement are high capacity wells, reconstruction of existing wells and wells on Native American property.

Before constructing a private well

  1. Contact a licensed well professional. All wells must be constructed by a licensed water well driller, or a registered rig operator working under the supervision of a licensed water well driller. The only exception is that a property owner can drive or drill a well on their own property.
  2. Obtain a Well Construction Notification number prior to constructing a well. This applies to both drilled wells and driven point wells. For high capacity wells or other wells that require written DNR approval, follow the notification requirements in your approval.

Before constructing heat exchange drillholes

  1. Contact a licensed heat exchange driller. All wells must be constructed by a licensed heat exchange driller, or a registered rig operator working under the supervision of a licensed driller.
  2. Obtain a Heat Exchange Construction Notification number prior to constructing a well. For geothermal systems that require prior written DNR approval, follow the notification requirements in your approval.

Obtaining a notification number

  • A Notification number can be obtained in one of two ways:
    • Visit any of over 1000 Licensing Sales Locations where you can purchase a DNR hunting or fishing license.
    • Make an online purchase using the Quick Sales Catalog or your account on GoWild [exit DNR] (additional convenience fee will be charged).
  • Online Notification and Fee Payment Instructions [PDF]
  • A Notification number must be obtained prior to starting construction.
  • The Well Construction Notification fee is $50.50. A Heat Exchange Notification has no fee. The fee and notification number are not refundable or transferable.
  • Either the owner or the constructor can obtain the Notification number. Regardless of who obtains it or pays the fee, it is the constructor’s responsibility to obtain a copy of the receipt showing the DNR Notification Number before starting construction.

When purchasing a Notification, be prepared to provide the following information.

  • Name of property owner
  • Street name and address
  • City, village or township
  • County name
  • Nearest intersecting road or highway
  • Well type - new or replacement (for well notification only)
  • Name of well driller or heat exchange driller
  • Name of pump installer (for well notification only)

After construction

A Well Construction Report must be completed and submitted to DNR within 30 days of well or drillhole construction. The driller will generally submit the report on behalf of the property owner. If you complete construction on your own property, contact DNR to obtain a Well Construction Report form. The Notification number must be provided on the lower right hand corner of the DNR Well Construction Report beneath the signature line.

Contact information
For more information regarding well and heat exchange notification, contact:
Deb Lyons-Roehl
Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater
Last revised: Friday April 15 2016