DNR Information

Private Water Supply Field Staff

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NR 812 Revisions

To all licensed well drillers, heat exchange drillers and pump installers,

DNR has started a new effort to revise NR 812, the state’s well and heat exchange construction and pump installation rule. Rule changes will focus on 3 major areas:

Correct errors or unclear language
Streamline procedures and requirements
Update construction standards

The NR 812 construction standards have not been revised for over 20 years. DNR will gather input from industry professionals and the general public during the rule-making process, to update rule requirements while maintaining groundwater protection and protecting drinking water and public health. DNR staff are currently drafting rule changes, and public hearings are likely to be held in spring of 2018.

For more information, visit DNR’s NR 812 Rule Changes web page.

July 2017

Approved Testing Labs

The following certified laboratories are approved for use by well drillers and pump installers when collecting water samples to meet the requirements of ch. NR 812, Wis. Adm. Code (samples collected after well drilling or pump installing). They have signed an agreement to automatically report test results to DNR on DNR forms for samples collected by well drillers and pump installers or their agent. Laboratories are listed in order of the countries where they are located. Fees vary from laboratory to laboratory.
For a complete list of Safe Drinking Water Act certified Bacteriology labs, contact your local DNR headquarters or click here.

View Approved Testing Labs

List of Approved Drilling, Grouting Rehabilitation, Heat Exchange Fluids & Abandonment Products
(DNR Bureau of Drink Water & Groundwater)

Approved Drilling Products

Well Construction Specifications

Sections 1-2, Town of TRENTON – WASHINGTON county


Property Area: This area includes the W ½ of the W ½ of Section 1 and the E ½ of the E ½ of Section 2, T11N, R20E, Town of Trenton, Washington County.

Based on Section NR 812.12(15)* of the Wisconsin State Private Well Code, a replacement well shall be constructed and cement-grouted according to the following more stringent specifications:

  1. That the well shall be cased and cement-grouted to a depth of 150 feet below the ground surface. (This will result in a well with a protective cement-grouted casing that will extend some 100 feet in the Niagara Dolomite bedrock aquifer of this area.)
  2. That the upper-enlarged drill-hole (UED) shall have a minimum diameter of 8-¾  inches (for a 6-inch diameter well).
  3. That upon completion of the UED, the string of casing pipe shall be set and driven to a firm seat in the dolomite formation.
  4. To ensure that an adequate seal is provided for the annular space, the casing shall be cement-grouted in place by using the Bradenhead grouting method. The grouting shall be done in a manner to meet the applicable requirements of this method, according to Section NR 812.20 of the State Private Well Code.
  5. That the UED shall be constructed using either rotary mud-circulation or rotary air methods. If rotary, mud-circulation methods are used, the mud pit shall have a volume large enough to provide for efficient removal of drill cuttings. (This volume is typically three times the total volume of the hole to be drilled.)
  6. If rotary mud-circulation methods are used to construct the UED, the water used to mix the drilling mud slurry shall have a pH between 8 and 8.5. If the pH is below 8, it shall be slowly treated with soda ash to achieve a pH within this range.
  7. For cement grouting the annular space, the grout shall be ordered from a commercial concrete company, shall be ordered free of aggregate, and shall have a slurry density of at least 15.2 lbs./gallon but preferably have a density of 15.6 lbs./gal. The grout density shall be measured with a mud balance, both in the grout pump hopper – before being pumped – and at the point where the grout returns out the top of the annular space.
  8. That the grout shall be adequately screened to remove any unexpected aggregate before it enters the grout pump hopper.
  9. That an alternative grouting method, including, but not limited to the Conductor (Tremie) Pipe Pumped method shall be available at the well site in case the cement grout does not come all the way up the annular space and flow at the ground surface while using either the Bradenhead Method.
  10. That upon completion of the grouting procedure or procedures, the grout shall flow out the top of the annular space with the same density as the grout being pumped from the hopper and shall have a density of at least 15.2 lbs./gal. The grout density shall be measured with a mud balance.
  11. That the cement grout shall be allowed to set for at least 24 hours before the construction of the lower bedrock drill-hole is commenced.
  12. That the Wisconsin Licensed Well Driller contracted to construct the replacement well shall contact Mike Vollrath of the Departments central office in Madison at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of the construction of the well. Mike’s phone number is (608) 264-8558.

* NR 812.12(15) More stringent well construction methods including but not limited to deeper well casing pipe depth settings are required by the department for wells constructed through formations where contaminant levels exceed the drinking water standards in s. NR 812.06, and may be required when there is groundwater contamination exceeding ch. NR 140 enforcement standards on a property that is listed on the department’s geographic information system registry of closed remediation sites. When drilling in areas where there are contaminated formations, and on properties where the well driller or well constructor has been notified that the property is listed on the department’s geographic information system registry of closed remediation sites, consultation with the department is required. If required by the department, special well construction methods shall be utilized when constructing or reconstructing wells located on properties that are listed on the department’s geographic information system registry of closed remediation sites. [Emphasis in lines 1-3 of this paragraph is ours.]

April 1, 2011