Water Well Program FAQs for Contractors

Answers to frequently asked questions about water wells for current or prospective water well contractors.

  • 1. Where can I get a State of Florida Water Well Contractor License?


    Water Well Contractor Licenses are issued by the five water management districts (WMD): South Florida WMD, St. Johns River WMD, Southwest Florida WMD, Suwannee River WMD and Northwest Florida WMD.
    These licenses are good statewide. For example, a water well contractor license issued by Northwest Florida WMD is valid in all the other water management districts and vice versa. Contact your local water management district for your license application.


  • 2. What qualifications do I need to become a licensed water well contractor?

    A water well contractor license applicant must be at least 18 years old. have at least two years' experience, and have a notarized letter from each of three persons attesting to the length of time the applicant has been working in the water well construction business.  The letters should come from professionals in the drilling industry, such as the water well contractor(s) that the applicant worked for, the consulting firms the applicant worked with, and/or the equipment (such as grout and casing) supplier.

  • 3. I'm licensed in another state and I just moved to Florida. May I transfer my license?

    No. The State of Florida does not have any reciprocal arrangements with other states concerning water well contractor licensing. You can use your license to show that you've been constructing wells for a minimum of two years.

    In order to get a State of Florida Water Well Contractor License, you still need three notarized letters attesting to the fact that you've been drilling wells for that length of time, a check for $100 for the exam fee, and you will need to pass the licensing exam.

  • 4. I don't speak or read English well. Can I get the rules, the application and the test in another language?

    No. The rules, application and the test are only in English. However, you may bring a translator with you when you take the test.

  • 5. When I receive my Manatee County permit, can I drill when I want?

    No. The contractor shall notify NRD 24 hours prior to the start of construction of any well. An NRD representative will be available for required notifications during normal working hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.), Monday through Friday.

    Please contact Kelli Polanski or Paul Panik.  Please provide NRD’s Well Construction Permit number as part of the notification. Phone, Fax, or Email notifications are acceptable.

    Office Fax #: (941)742-5996             
    Office Phone #: (941)742-5980
    Kelli Polanski: Extension 1807, e-mail  kelli.polanski@mymanatee.org
    Paul Panik: Extension 1872, e-mail  paul.panik@mymanatee.org


  • 6. Can I use surface water to drill a well?

    No. The Licensed Water Well Contractor is responsible for adding clean, clear water to drilling fluid or cement grout, including well pluggings. Acceptable sources for clean water are groundwater or supply lines (municipal water). Surface water bodies, including retention ponds, ditches, lakes, streams, etc., are not acceptable sources.

  • 7. How do I get casing depths and total depths of wells in a certain area?

    You will need the section, township, and range of the area. Then, go to http://www18.swfwmd.state.fl.us/ResData/Search/ExtDefault.aspx. The water management information system (WMIS) will have all the necessary information on wells completed in a specific area.