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Well Construction Site Information

Basic Information

The Department of Ecology's Water Resources Program maintains Well Report records for the State of Washington. A Well Report describes the location, ownership, construction details and lithology of a completed well. Public access to these records is provided free of charge. Please read the following section describing the legalities concerning the use of this information.


Well Report Data and Images released from the Department of Ecology are provided on an “AS IS” basis, without warranty of any kind.

The data and/or image(s) may not be accurate, complete, legible, or otherwise reliable.

Ecology disclaims any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including (without limitation) any implied warranties or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will Ecology be liable to you or to any third party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or loss resulting from any use or misuse of these data and/or images.

The user of this well report assumes the entire risk that the data and/or image may be inaccurate, incomplete, illegible, or otherwise reliable.

The accuracy of the well report information you see is dependent upon the knowledge, skill and care taken by each well driller completing the well report.

The information provided on the "Text Search Results" and "Map Search Results" page(s) are captured from the original well report submitted by the well driller. Although the Water Resources Program takes great pains to ensure that the data entered is correct, there may be data entry errors. The reproduction of the submitted well report in image format is available and that information takes precedence over the tabular data found on the "Text Search Results" or "Map Search Results" page(s).

Keying the information into the search engine's database also impacts its accuracy. We have tried to maintain a high level of accuracy when keying in the data. A random sample check suggests the keying accuracy to be 97.4%. Our target without paying for validation was 99%. We have also put much effort into cleaning the data before making it available. Cleaning projects began in August of 1999 and continue today. They have involved the review of ten's of thousands of records and their well report images.

Some loss of information can occur from scanning a document. Small dots that end abbreviated words or decimals that separate whole numbers from fractions can be lost as a result of scanning. If a number has a gap between its digits or if the line that boxes it has white space where a continuous line should be, then any associated numeric value should be scrutinized. Poorly scanned documents can be rescanned from the original paper if reported. Use the Contact Us page.

Well Report locations are only accurate to the nearest Township, Section and Range (TRS) using Public Land Survey (PLS) Maps. About 80% of the time the PLS location is specific to the nearest quarter section or quarter of a quarter section. Each approximate location is assigned a center point that is drawn in the section or quarter or quarter-quarter section where the well is reported to be located. These center points are called centroids. Each is represented by a small colored square on the map. Therefore, the well location data point represented on the Map Search Page does not necessarily represent the exact location of a well in Washington State. Also, because of the limited accuracy of the data, some well points on the map appear to be in water bodies when they are not.

The vast majority of the well reports are historical documents. This Well Report Search and Retrieval System presents the information as it is found on the well report form. The information (data) for the fields (i.e., attributes or data elements) on the well report is often over 99 percent complete. Approximately 99.7% of the time well report contain Township/Section/Range (TRS) location information. However, a little less than 1% of the time well reports have TRS locations that are invalid. The Well Report Map Search Page will not show or report these reports. They may be found, however, by using the Text Search Page.

Fields with significantly less than 99% complete data include the 1/4 and 1/4x1/4 Section Data, Notice of Intent Numbers, Well Report Received Date Stamps, Driller's License Number and Well Tag IDs. Please see the section which follows labeled "Data Completeness" for specific percentages. Reasons for incomplete data on the well report vary widely. For example, Well Tag IDs are present less than 25 percent of the time. 20% of the well reports have duplicate Well Tag IDs. 70% of the time these duplicates are legitimate. The remaining 30% are being reviewed. Tax parcel numbers are rarely present before June of 1999. Another example is the Notice of Intent (NOI) Numbers that begin with a letter (e.g. W123456). These numbers have only been in existence since June of 1993. Those NOI numbers not beginning with a letter were assigned prior to June of 1993. A third example, Well Address, is often absent or the address can be very imprecise. Sometimes the well was near a specific street address. Others were near an intersection or a landmark with no other address identifier.

Out of consideration for the well owner and for reasons relating to security, the Well Address is omitted from the MS Excel or ASCII export files. Please take notice that state law states that all private citizen names and addresses may not be used for any solicitation/commercial purpose.

If at first you do not find the well report you are looking for, try another way to search for it. The system is designed to let you do many kinds of searches if you know some of the information. You can also search using only partial owner name or address information. Please see the Help for examples of how to construct successful searches.

Data Completeness

The well reports in this well report imaging system represent all paper well reports in the Department of Ecology's Water Resources Program minus any backlog or misplaced or lost documents. Each regional office typically is within two to three weeks of being current in its data entry. The percentage to which the data is complete for each attribute is identified in the table below. Location and ownership data are very complete. Quarter section and quarter-quarter section data is good but less complete. Searches to the nearest quarter or quarter-quarter section consequently may exclude relevant results. Well depth and diameter are less complete. When the data is less complete it is because it was less frequently reported for some types of wells or may not have been reported earlier in the history of the well construction program. Well Tag IDs are present approximately 24 percent of the time. 20% of these well reports have duplicate Well Tag IDs. This reflects the well drilling practices and historical requirements for wells when they were drilled. The Notice of Intent to Drill database was not started until July of 1993, hence, the low percentage of wells with Notice of Intent Numbers. Tax Parcel Numbers have only been possible to report since mid 1999. Search for your information several different ways.

Attribute Name Well Reports with Data Percent of Total
Township 830,463 99.88
Township Direction 831,465 100.0
Range 830,414 99.87
Range Direction 830,779 99.92
Section 830,003 99.82
Quarter Section 809,830 97.4
Quarter-Quarter Section 792,912 95.36
Well Owner Name 830,338 99.86
Well Street Address 681,433 81.96
County 830,549 99.89
Well Depth 772,578 92.92
Well Diameter 719,548 86.54
Notice of Intent 695,713 83.67
Well Completion Date 786,502 94.59
Well Report Received Date 734,112 88.29
Tax Parcel Number 322,216 38.83
Well Tag ID 329,216 39.59
Well Type 831465 100.0
Statistics based on Total Well Reports through August 30th, 2018 831,465  

History of the Well Report (Well Report)

The State of Washington has been receiving well reports since the 1930s. Over the years the well report form has changed several times and well reports have been under the management of the Department of Ecology since 1971. Each change or revision resulted in more data being collected about the well, its location, the persons associated with the well, and the actions taken on the well. Hundreds of well drillers throughout the state fill out the well report. When the well report form is filled out, it is sometimes handwritten and sometimes typed. Requirements for what fields had to be completed for the well report to be accepted have changed over time. Water Resources has four regional offices that are responsible for the collection, acceptance, and filing of well reports.

Well Report Definition

A Well Report means a Well Report and is used to describe the location, ownership, construction details and lithology for either a completed resource protection or water supply well. The report is completed and signed by the individual who constructs the well. All reports must be submitted to Ecology within thirty days following the completion of the well.

Duplicate Well Tag IDs

Some well reports share the same well tag ID (example of a well tag ID: ABC123). A well tag ID was created to uniquely identify a well. A well can have more than one well report. The well, for example, may have one well report created when it was originally drilled, another when it was deepened and another when it was decommissioned. All three of these well reports would (correctly) share the same well tag ID. Unfortunately some well reports have been submitted that contain the same well tag ID for different wells in different locations. This is a driller's recording error that can only be corrected by the well driller. A few duplicate well tag IDs are the result of data entry error. These are being reviewed and corrected. Only three percent of the well reports have duplicate well tag IDs. Seventy percent of this three percent are legitimate duplicate well tag IDs. Thirty percent of this three percent are in error. The numbers are small, but disconcerting. Approximately 24% of all the well reports have their well tag IDs reported.

Well Locations on the Map

Each well location on the map (the small blue, red, purple and/or black squares on the map) can have one or more well reports associated with it.

Well Locations in Water Bodies on the Map

Some wells appear in water bodies on the GIS map search page. This is primarily because the township, section, range location information is not exact by its nature or because the information was reported in error. In a few cases it is due to data entry errors. These data entry errors are corrected as they are discovered by Ecology well report trackers. To get well location information out of the water, the driller needs to submit a correction to the Water Resources Program Well Report Tracker for their region.

Well Locations

Well reports contain well location information. This information is reported to the nearest 1/4, 1/4 of a section within a township and range. Sometimes it is reported only to the nearest 1/4 section or just to the nearest section within a township and range. Public Land Survey maps are used to describe well locations. When Metzger maps were used by drillers to determine well locations and when those location descriptions differed from the Public Land Survey location descriptions, the location information was electronically converted to its Public Land Survey equivalent. This was done so that all well locations would be represented using a consistent methodology on the map search page. It is possible to search for well reports by navigating a Washington State map or by keying in township, range, and section information. Either result will locate any well report containing location information.

Your Comments

Your comments are highly valuable and in part contribute to the success of this system. To leave us your comments, use the Contact Us comment form.

Links to Well Drilling, USGS and Washington State Web Sites

Well Drilling Web Sites:

USGS Web Site(s):

Ecology and Other Washington State Web Sites:

Water Resources Program Web Sites:

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