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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Water well drilling rig
The New Hampshire water well inventory database was initiated in 1984 in conjunction with the passage of state statute RSA 482-B which requires the licensing of water well contractors and the submission of well completion reports. These reports provide a record of the construction details of each well along with information describing geologic materials and subsurface conditions at the well site. The New Hampshire Geological Survey (NHGS) is the official repository of the well completion reports that are submitted to the New Hampshire Water Well Board.

Thousands of well reports are submitted by licensed water well contractors each year. As data steward, NHGS is responsible for performing data entry and quality control , and also assists the New Hampshire Water Well Board with reporting compliance issues. Currently, the water well inventory database has over 125,000 well records for wells that have been drilled and reported since 1984.

From the outset, a sustained effort has been made to accurately locate each well on a map and store its location in digital form in a geographic information system (GIS).  Originally this was accomplished by traditional map and compass techniques in the field and use of a digitizing tablet to obtain geographic coordinates for the point locations. The process of assigning geographic coordinates to a feature, such as a well, is called "georeferencing." Global Positioning System (GPS) technology was employed to georeference wells beginning in 1995. Since 2000, a desktop GIS method Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol has been used instead, eliminating the labor-intensive and costly effort required to physically find each wellhead in the field. RSA 482-B was amended in 2007 so that drillers are now required to georeference the location of any new well using a handheld GPS unit and to report the coordinates directly on the well completion report form.  As a result of these combined efforts, approximately 50% of the well records have been spatially located to date.  This well location and well description data, helps with making accurate NH Geology Maps in addition to assisting future home owners with information regarding their well.



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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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