10 Most Asked Questions for Drilling a Water Well

Yakima County Water Well

Questions ? & Answers!

Therefore, the time has come for the decision regarding whether or not you would like to drill a well on your property or a property you are considering to purchase or attempting to deepen the well that has gone dry. Most likely, you also have some questions and curiosities, which concern such a large task.

That information you will need to know is right here in the following. These are the 10 most asked questions for drilling water well in Yakima County, WA:

1. What is the point of drilling a well?

When you make the decision to drill your very own water well, you are making the decision to take full control over your water supply in Yakima; there is a great supply of water. Most likely, in the whole scheme of things, it would be much cheaper to run water from your own well than it would be to purchase it from the local city water board.

2. What is the best way to figure out who would be the most appropriate company you should hire to drill your well?

 Consult the following sources for the names of local well drillers:

  • Utilize your internet to gain Education from your  local Well Drilling Companies
  • Classified section of telephone directory
  • Well equipment suppliers
  • Well owners in your neighborhood

Do your research on your well drilling company.

It is OKAY!


Once you have narrowed down your search results, make the appropriate phone calls and contacts with the companies whom have gained your interest. Make sure your selection is a professional well driller, carrying all appropriate license and certificates.

The license must be issued by the Department of Ecology. A general contractor’s registration with the Department of Labor and Industries is not sufficient authority to contract for the construction of wells.

To verify Washington State Well Driller licenses please contact: Department of Ecology, Well Drilling Central Regional Office for Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, and Yakima Counties:

Receptionist 509-575-2490

Current License/Up-to-date well drilling license & licensed and bonded through the Department of Labor and Industries:

Receptionist: 509-454-3700

3. What Information should I know before Hiring a Pump Installer?

Designing the correct pumping system is essential in receiving the most benefit from your well. Whether it is for home, livestock, or irrigation, each system is designed for the customer’s specific needs. From the well to your house, shop, or barn, new technology gives the consumer several options for water delivery.

Before hiring your Pump Installer, make sure that they can and will do service calls on any future problems that may arise. We recommend that your well be serviced every 5 years. This is called a pump check and your pump installer should be your to go person!

Do your research on your Pump Installer.

It is OKAY!


4. What method will the drilling company more than likely do in the drilling of the well?

There are various techniques employed in drilling, the use of a cable rig and the of course the main method used in the Yakima County, which is the rotary rig.

The rotary rig or drill, utilizes elevated pressure to persistently drill minus the need to bail the hole. The debris is there by flushed out during the drilling process.

A cable tool rig elevates a big drill tool, precisely weighing around 1500 lbs and then it hits down continually on the very same spot, demolishing whatever happens to be in its way. Once you are at a few feet, the tool is than lifted out of the way and a bailer is lowered into the hole to begin the debris removal.

5. What exactly is water witching and is it a good idea?

Water witching is the method of sensing and locating water underground using a divining rod or a stick. There are people out there who believe in the water witching function, as they can feel the stick arching towards the ground if there is the presence of water nearby, there are however, many out there who believe it is merely a operation which is built on merely superstition.

6.What are the required permits entailed in drilling a well?

>Intent to Drill

Intent to drill a well is an application, which must be filed with your Washington State Department of Ecology along a fee, which is $200.00 for less than 12” in diameter or $300.00 for greater than 12” in diameter. This fee can be paid by you or by the well driller on your behalf and as anything else in this world, this fee is not set in stone and could change!

>Drive shoe and Ecology seal which is approximately $400.00.

The purpose of the surface seal is to keep surface water from following  down the outside of the casing to the aquifers below preventing any chance of contamination. This is an oversized hole to a minimum of 18 feet. The surface seal or ecology seal will be placed in this oversized hole, which is required by state law.

After the surface seal hole is drilled, the driller will install his first piece of casing and attached will be a drive shoe. The drive shoe protects the casing from damage due to rocks and boulders.  This fee is paid to the Well Driller!

7. Can I drill my own water well?

Yes! If and only if you are the landowner! You must still obtain all permits and obligated to follow guidelines of the Washington State Department of Ecology.

8. I have an old well that I have not used in years. What should I do, if anything?

Decommissioned well is a well that is no longer in use and has been shut down/capped off by a licensed well driller and reported to the Department of Ecology (See WAC 173-160-261).

Unused and abandoned wells can allow for contamination of aquifers used as drinking water sources. The risk of groundwater contamination increases when other wells are operating, since pumping can draw poor quality water down the abandoned well and into the drinking water aquifer. To prevent unnecessary contamination, wells that are no longer being used must be abandoned.

9. Do I need to have my private well tested?

Private Wells should be tested annually for nitrate and coliform bacteria to detect contamination problems early. Although testing is not required, it can be a reasonably prudent step to take to protect your family. Check with your public health district to learn more about well water quality in your area and which contaminants you are more likely to find and need to test for.

If you have your own well, you are responsible for ensuring that your water is safe to drink. In short, protecting your drinking water comes down to frequent testing and adequate wellhead protection. You can protect your water supply by carefully managing activities near the wellhead. For example, do not store hazardous chemicals near the wellhead; avoid mixing or using pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, fuels, and other pollutants near the well; determine how close your septic tank is to the water well; and install a well cap or sanitary seal to prevent unauthorized use of, or entry into, the well.

Within Yakima County, there are three certified water laboratories where residents can take samples of their drinking water for water quality testing. The samples must be taken to the lab directly; the Yakima Health District does not have testing facilities or testing supplies (e.g., bottles, kits, etc.).lab

  • Cascade Analytical, Inc. 1008 W. Ahtanum Yakima, WA 98903 (509) 452-7707
  • Valley Environmental Laboratory 201 E. “D” St. Yakima, WA 98901 (509) 575-3999
  • Ag Health Laboratories 445 Barnard Blvd Sunnyside, WA 98944 (509) 836-2020

10. What steps do I need to take to protect my water from impurities?

  • Only low-impact facilities, such as a house, outdoor play area, or outdoor furniture should be located within 50 feet of the well.
  • Do not mix or store any material that might contaminate your water supply within 50 feet of your well. Medium and high impact activities should only occur at safe distances.
  • Animal enclosures and septic systems should have a minimum setback of 100 feet from a domestic well.
  •  Do not store or mix pesticides, fertilizers, lawn-care products, paint or paint cleaners, hazardous cleaning products, gasoline (including gasoline generators), or automotive wastes near the well.
  • Do not dispose of hazardous materials (including some types of household cleaners, paint and paint cleaners, automotive waste, and pesticides) to a septic system – these substances are not treated in a typical septic system, and can easily migrate to groundwater. Take hazardous household chemicals to a designated collection center for disposal.

Inspect your well at least once a year for cracks in the casing and seal, or any other types of leaks or possible sources of contamination. If issues are noted, have a State-licensed contractor repair the well.



This article has been provided to you from Apple Valley Well Drilling

If you have any further questions, 

Call Gary Lydin @ 509-697-6605

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