Proper well design and construction are critical to protect water quality and human health and safety. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services regulates the design and construction of wells. This includes wells for a variety of intended uses, including drinking water, irrigation, livestock watering, geothermal energy, or others.
Current regulations call for wells to be drilled. After drilling, the well contractor will put a watertight casing of either plastic (PVC) or steel pipe in the bore hole. Typically, the casing extends 1 foot or more above the surrounding land, preventing surface water from entering the well. The exposed end of the casing must be capped with a watertight seal, and any vents or slots should be screened. The space between the bore hole and the well casing is grouted to prevent surface water from running down the casing. A well screen is joined to the casing at one or more intervals in the water bearing areas. Sand and/or gravel is generally placed in the space between the bore hole and the screen.
Private Drinking Water Systems
This series of six University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension NebGuides will help rural families understand and manage their private drinking water systems.
Private Drinking Water Wells: Planning for Water Use
Private Drinking Water Wells: Water Sources
Private Drinking Water Wells: The Water Well
Private Drinking Water Wells: The Distribution System
Private Drinking Water Wells: Operation and Maintenance for Mechanical Components
Private Drinking Water Wells: Operation and Maintenance for a Safe Well
Information presented within this section of this Water Web site has been reviewed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Wellhead Management and Drinking Water team members David Shelton, Sharon Skipton, Bruce Dvorak, Wayne Woldt, and Jan Hygnstrom.
- Title 178 Chapter 10: Regulations governing licensure of water wells and pump installation; contractors and certification of water well drilling; pump installation and water well monitoring supervisors.
- Title 178 Chapter 12: Regulations governing water well construction, pump installation, and water well decommissioning standards.