Water Wells

  1. Wells per Year
  2. Cumulative
SourceWashington Department of Ecology
Data TableThurston County Water Wells
ExplanationA well report (well log) is a detailed record of the geological formation through which a well is drilled. The report also contains the location, owner name, driller name, and well water production. A reports must be submitted to the Dept. of Ecology within 30 days of a well's completion.

There are two types of wells: water wells, for water extraction, and resource wells, for water monitoring and sampling. Water extracted from water wells is used for many purposes, including agricultural irrigation, industrial uses, and residential drinking water. Water well logs include both permit exempt wells and non-permit exempt wells.

Since 1940, over 13,000 reports for water wells have been recorded. Between 1990 and 2010, over 400 water wells were recorded per year. Since then, the rate has declined to about 100 wells per year. The decline can be attributed to:
  • Decreased home building during the 2008 economic recession
  • Shifts in development patterns from rural areas to urban areas served by public water systems
  • Restrictions on new water rights in Thurston County basins
Permit Exempt Wells

In Washington State, prospective water users must obtain authorization in the form of a water right permit or certificate from the Department of Ecology before withdrawing groundwater. The groundwater permit exemption allows the users of small quantities of groundwater to construct wells and develop their water supplies without first obtaining a water right permit from Ecology. For more information about wells and water rights, visit:

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