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  Wyoming Water Well Contractors Licensing Board
  Wyoming State Board of Examining Water Well Drilling Contractors and Water Well Pump Installation Contractors

In 2008 the Wyoming Legislature passed HB0055, Water Well Drilling and Pump Installation Licensure, which required mandatory licensing of water well drilling contractors and water well pump installation contractors. The Enrolled Act No. 58 was signed by Governor Freudenthal on March 12, 2008, requiring licensing of water well contractors (water well drillers and water well pump installers) by July 1, 2008. Until the passage of the Act, Wyoming was the only state within the contiguous 48 that did not require some form of licensure, certification, or registration of water well contractors.

As provided by the Enrolled Act, "It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, alter or rehabilitate a water well or install pumping equipment in a water well without a license as provided by this act unless the activity is exempted from the licensing requirements of this act" (W.S. 33-42-103 (f.))

The activities that are exempt from the licensing requirements are:
  • Drilling an oil or gas well or installing a pump in an oil or gas well, where the oil or gas well is permitted pursuant to W.S. 30-5-115;
  • Installing a pump in a well on land owned or leased by him or on which he is employed on a regular basis;
  • Drilling a monitor well that does not require a permit from the State Engineer;
  • Operating drilling equipment or conducting other drilling or boring operations which do not require a permit from the State Engineer to appropriate ground water (e.g., uranium test holes.); and
  • Drilling a well on land owned by him.

The Act included a "grandfather clause" (W.S. 33-42-112. Exemptions) which states, "Upon submitting satisfactory evidence to the board, any person who has been actively engaged as a water well drilling contractor or a water well pump installation contractor in the state of Wyoming for the five (5) years prior to July 1, 2008 shall be exempt from the oral or written examination requirements pursuant to W.S. 33-42-108 and 33-42-110 until June 30, 2009. Satisfactory evidence may include written affidavits from three (3) individuals competent to attest to the applicant’s professional work experience."
This Act has since been repealed.

The Act also provided for reciprocity (W.S. 33-42-114. Reciprocity) which states that "If a person holding a license entitling him to drill water wells or install pumping equipment in another state applies for a Wyoming water well drilling contractor’s or water well pump installation contractor’s license, if the other state offers reciprocity, and if the board determines that the standards and requirements of the state in which the applicant is licensed are equal to or exceeds the standards or requirements of this act, the board may waive the examination requirements except the applicant shall successfully complete an examination based on Wyoming statutes and rules relating to the drilling of water wells or installation of pump equipment. The applicant shall also pay all applicable fees."

A safe water supply at your home is obviously vital. This is why hiring a qualified water well contractor is extremely important. Prior to selecting a water well contractor for a job, it is a good idea to obtain information about several contractors in the area before making a choice. Don’t always go with the bargain price. The lowest price often ends up leading to low-quality work. Here are some considerations:
  • Is the contractor licensed in Wyoming?
  • Does the contractor submit the required forms to the State Engineer’s Office (SEO)?
  • Does the contractor have adequate equipment in good condition to do the job?
  • Does the contractor have adequate liability and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you?
  • Is the contractor familiar with the applicable health and safety codes?
  • What is the contractor’s reputation with previous customers?
  • Will the contractor furnish a written contract specifying the terms and conditions of the job?
  • Will the contractor ensure your well is completed according to the SEO’s Water Well Minimum Construction Stands?

When you select a contractor, make sure several conditions are covered in the contract. Ask that all charges be itemized and that any guarantees on workmanship be put in writing. Also make sure these details are spelled out:
  • The diameter of the hole.
  • Size and type of casing.
  • Type of well screen to be installed, where needed.
  • Filter pack (or gravel pack) meets the SEO Minimum Construction Standards.
  • The amount of time the well will be test pumped.
  • A statement that all work is to comply with local and state regulations and codes.
  • The disinfection procedure.
  • A guarantee of materials and workmanship. The contract should specify that the contractor will return to do or to correct the initial work if necessary.

Following the above referenced practices will help in avoiding unforeseen difficulties. Licensing provides the public with a level of protection they did not previously have from a health and safety perspective before 2008. With licensing, water well owners that have experienced poor or inadequate performance by a water well contractor may file a complaint with the licensing board. The Board is authorized to suspend, revoke or deny the license of a water well contractor that fails to meet standards of the profession. Additionally, licensing protects the ground water resources of the state and promotes excellence in water well drilling and pump installation practices.

Choosing a water well contractor is an extremely important decision. Please don’t make it hastily! Learn as much as you can about your water well contractor before you choose!

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