Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee

HB 1467

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Modifying the definition of a well for the purposes of chapter 18.104 RCW.

Sponsors: Representatives Buys, Blake, Chandler, Pearson, Fagan, Overstreet, Harris, Wilcox, Johnson, Haler, Warnick, McCune and Kelley.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Modifies the definition of a "well" under the Water Well Construction Act.

Hearing Date: 2/1/11

Staff: Courtney Barnes (786-7194).


The Water Well Construction Act (WWCA) governs the design, construction, alteration, and decommissioning of wells in this state. The Department of Ecology regulates well design, construction, and maintenance. Wells are defined in the WWCA.

"Well" means water wells, resource protection wells, dewatering wells, and geotechnical soil borings. "Well" does not mean an excavation made for the purpose of obtaining or prospecting for oil, natural gas, geothermal resources, minerals, or products of mining, or quarrying, or for inserting media to re-pressure oil or natural gas bearing formations, or for storing petroleum, natural gas, or other products."Water well" means any excavation that is constructed when the intended use of the well is for the location, diversion, artificial recharge, observation, monitoring, dewatering, or withdrawal of groundwater. Water wells include ground source heat pump borings and grounding wells.

"Resource protection well" means a cased boring intended or used to collect subsurface information or to determine the existence or migration of pollutants within an underground formation. Resource protection wells include monitoring wells, observation wells, piezometers, spill response wells, remediation wells, environmental investigation wells, vapor extraction wells, ground source heat pump boring, grounding wells, and instrumentation wells.

"Dewatering well" means a cased or lined excavation or boring that is intended to withdraw or divert groundwater for the purpose of facilitating construction, stabilizing a landslide, or protecting an aquifer.

"Geotechnical soil boring" or "boring" means a well drilled for the purpose of obtaining soil samples or information to ascertain structural properties of the subsurface.

Summary of Bill:

The bill modifies the definition of a "well" as defined in the WWCA. A "well" does not mean any boring, cased or uncased hole, excavation, trench, sensor installation, soil or sediment sampling, or groundwater sampling.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on 1/28/2011.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.