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Water Well Contractor


A water well contractor must register with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and pass appropriate certification exams in order to supervise on-site water well drilling activities for compensation. Water well drilling activities include, but are not limited to, construction and reconstruction of water wells, pump installation and repair, establishment or repair of a connection through a water well casing, and other water well repairs, including those which require opening a water well casing (see Environmental Conservation Law §15-1525.)

Certification Requirements:

On-site supervision of water well drilling must be performed by an individual who has taken and passed two drilling exams. On-site supervision of pump installation and repair activities must be performed by an individual who has taken and passed two pump exams. These Certified Well Driller (CWD) and Certified Pump Installer (CPI) exams are offered by the National Ground Water Association through PSI Services.

Additionally, water well contractors must submit a completed application form and annual registration fee to DEC in order to obtain an annual certificate of registration. A water well contractor must submit a preliminary notice to DEC prior to initiating drilling a water well, and a water well completion report upon completion of drilling a water well. A copy of the water well completion report must also be provided to the owner of the water well.

Fees: (as of January 1, 2019)

There is a fee of $75 for each certification exam and an annual registration fee of $10.

Examination Requirements:

NGWA’s Certified Well Driller (CWD) and Certified Pump Installer (CPI) exams are multiple-choice. Each consists of 50 questions. Candidates have one hour to complete each exam. A score of 70 percent or more is required on each exam to become certified.

Note: A registered water well contractor must provide evidence of successful completion of the NGWA Certification Examination upon demand of an enforcement officer. Scores can be obtained from the testing center following the exam or obtained from NGWA for a fee.

Study information is available through NGWA and the Empire State Water Well Driller Association.

Certificates Issued and Active:

As of January 1, 2019, there are 512 active certificates for this occupation.

Certification Authority:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Water, Water Well Program
625 Broadway, 4th FL
Albany, New York 12233-3508
Toll-Free: 1-877-472-2619
Phone: (518) 402-8291
E-mail: [email protected]

Standard Occupational Classification:

47-5021 - Earth Drillers, Except Gas and Oil
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 1/11/19.

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