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Well Contractor Certification Program

Renewal Update (5/2/2024): The applications for renewal have been online since Tuesday, April 30. Paper letters will be sent out via USPS mail during the first week of May. You may renew online now by visiting the DNR Operator Certification (Op Cert) application and selecting "Pay for Certificate/Renewal Fees/Retest Fees." Please note that the DNR has just moved into a new building as of May 1, 2024, and the mail will be questionable for a few months, so renewing online is your safest bet; you can pay using a credit card OR an electronic check.

Effective immediately, the DNR will discontinue the issuance of paper certificates; wallet cards; and renewal labels traditionally sent out after initial certification, upgrades, or renewals for Drinking Water Treatment Operators; Drinking Water Distribution Operators; Wastewater Treatment Operators; Private Well Contractors; and Onsite Septic Systems Time of Transfer Inspectors. Instead, certificates will now have the option to view and print their certificates directly from our DNR OpCert Web page that serves as the dynamic and official record accessible 24/7 to both the public and regulators. A simple click of a button next to each certificate's information will generate a printable PDF of their current certificate, reflecting any adjustments in grade or expiration dates upon payment of certification or renewal fees. Any changes to certification status are reflected immediately on our online database reducing the likelihood of lost or delayed paperwork. The instant a renewal is paid online, their new certificate with an expiration date of 6.30.2026 is created and can be seen by pressing the PRINT button next to their list of certifications.

Program contact information: 515-725-0463,

The goal of the well contractor certification program is to ensure that professionals working on water wells have knowledge and experience necessary to understand how their activities affect the groundwater. The Water Supply Operation Section of Iowa DNR is responsible for administering the Certification Programs to assure that applicants meet the minimum standards of education and experience to become certified for Well Contractors.

There are 3 types of well contactor certifications:

  1. well driller;
  2. pump installer; and
  3. limited well plugger (Class I and Class III wells only)
This page describes the certification process, retaining your certification, continuing education (CEUs) and renewal requirements, and outlines the rules and regulations that well contractors pertaining to well contractors.

Well Contractor Certification Process

To become an Iowa DNR Certified Well Contractor an individual must:

  1. Meet the minimum education and work experience requirements of certification
  2. Complete a contractor application (542-1433) and pay applicable fees
  3. Pass a written test

To retain certification, all well contractors must:

  1. Maintain a high level of work ethic and standards by performing all well services using at least the minimum appropriate standards for the service or area the service is performed.
  2. Submit all required well documentation to the Iowa DNR and/or their delegated local permitting authorities within the timelines specified in rule.
  3. Earn the appropriate minimum number of Continuing Education training Units (CEUs) during each two year certification cycle that starts on July 1st of even numbered years. Note: All CEUs must be earned by March 31st of even numbered years.
  4. Track earned CEUs and submit a record of earned CEUs to the Iowa DNR before or at the time of certification renewal.
  5. Notify the Iowa DNR of any change in address so that you will receive the certification renewal forms.
  6. Abide by the Iowa Code (statute) and Iowa Administrative Code rules and regulation for well construction and contractor certification

Renewal Requirements

  1. Well Contractor licenses expire on June 30th of even numbered years (ex. June 30, 2024)
  2. CEUs must be earned by March 31st of even numbered years (ex. March 31, 2024)
    1. Example: The current CEU accrual period runs from April 1, 2022 - March 31, 2024
    2. CEU Requirements
      1. Well Drillers - 16 contact hours (1.6 CEUs) every two years
      2. Pump Installers - 10 contact hours (1.0 CEUs) every two years
    3. All training submitted to the Iowa DNR for well contractor CEUs must be pre-approved
    4. Well Contractors are responsible for ensuring a course is eligible for CEU credit
    5. Well Contractors are responsible for confirming that CEUs have been properly submitted to the department
      1. submit to:
    6. Only two contact hours of safety training can be applied to meet CEU requirements during a CEU accrual period

    Payment of Renewal Fees

    1. Renewal Applications will be posted online by May 1st of even numbered years (Example: May 1, 2024)
    2. DNR Operator Certification Database - use this application to:
      1. Track their renewal applications
      2. Track their CEUs
      3. View the training calendar, and
      4. Pay renewal and application fees online

    Rules and Regulations for Well Contractors

    1. IAC 567 Chapter 38: Private Water Well Construction Permits
    2. IAC 567 Chapter 39: Requirements for Properly Plugging Abandoned Wells
    3. IAC 567 Chapter 40: Scope of Division - Definitions - Forms - Rules of Practice
    4. IAC 567 Chapter 43: Water Supplies - Design and Operation (Public Water Supply Wells)
    5. IAC 567 Chapter 49: Nonpublic Water Supply Wells (Private Well Construction Standards)
    6. IAC 567 Chapter 82: Well Contractor Certification