Private Water Well Construction Permit

Department of Natural Resources


Iowa law requires that anyone planning to construct a private water supply well obtain a private well construction permit before drilling or construction begins. Construction permits are issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or the local county permitting authority. Examples of wells requiring construction permits include: household-domestic, industrial, livestock, irrigation, recreational-use, monitoring, heat pump water supply wells and geothermal heat exchange loop boreholes, and de-watering wells.  Some wells, like irrigation and other high capacity wells are subject to additional permitting by the department.

Code Citation IAC 567 – Chapter 38

Who Applies The application can be completed and submitted by the landowner, the landowner\\’s agent, or an Iowa DNR Certified Well Contractor.

When To Apply A well construction permit must be obtained before any well construction or reconstruction services are performed. It is recommended that the permit application be submitted at least 5 days before construction is scheduled to begin as local county permitting staff require time to assess the site and process the permit. Permit may be delayed if adequate lead time is not provided.

Initial Requirements Please make sure that your water supply does not meet public water supply thresholds for number of customers and days served. Public water supply wells require additional review, design standards, engineering approval, construction standards, and water testing requirements. Please notify Iowa One Call for a utility audit for the proposed well location. Minimum separation distances apply between well location and potential sources of contamination. The use of an Iowa DNR Certified Well Contractor is required and the certified contractor must be on-site at all times well services are being performed. All counties have been given authority to issue new private well construction permits and some have more stringent permit criteria than the Department of Natural Resources.

Duration The permit is valid for a term of one year from the date the permit was originally issued. If one or more additional wells are needed after the initial wells have been constructed, a new permit must be issued for the new construction.

Processing Time Generally less than one week – dependent on the county office where the well will be constructed.

Fee Structure The local county application fee varies by individual county. In addition to the local county fee, a one time Iowa DNR well construction permit fee of $25 is charged for each well construction permit issued. Please contact us for additional information. Permit fees are non-refundable.

Renewal Requirements Does not pertain.

Exam Does not pertain.

Additional Information The application can be completed and submitted by the landowner, the landowner\\’s agent, or an Iowa DNR Certified Well Contractor.

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Erik Day
Wallace State Office Building
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319