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Copyright 2000: Queens Printer,
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990




1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Application of Act

4. Prohibition

5. Licence

6. Refusal, etc. of licence

7. Review

8. Expiry of licence

9. Duties of well driller

10. Appointment of inspector

11. Powers of inspector

12. Evidence

13. Production of licence

14. Regulations

15. Offence and penalty

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Well Drilling Act.

1981 c14 s1

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2. In this Act

(a) "drill" means in relation to a well the construction by drilling, boring, washing or by another method by which a well may be constructed, except digging;

(b) "ground water" means water that exists beneath the land surface;

(c) "inspector" means an inspector appointed under this Act;

(d) "licence" means a valid licence issued under this Act to drill wells;

(e) "minister" means the Minister of Environment and Lands;

(f) "well" means an artificial opening in the ground from which water is obtained or that is made for the purpose of exploring for or obtaining water; and

(g) "well driller" means a person licensed under this Act.

1981 c14 s2; 1988 c43 Sch B

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Application of Act

3. (1) This Act applies in respect of all sources of ground water and all wells drilled.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), this Act does not apply in respect of a person who drills a well on his or her land, using equipment owned by that person, for the purpose of obtaining ground water for domestic use.

1981 c14 s3

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4. A person shall not

(a) for gain or reward

(i) contract to drill a well, or

(ii) drill, alter or repair a well for another person;

(b) carry on the business of well drilling; or

(c) hold himself or herself out as a well driller,

unless that person holds a licence under this Act.

1981 c14 s4

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5. The minister or a person authorized by him or her for that purpose may, upon payment of the prescribed fee, issue a licence to a person authorizing that person to carry on the business of well drilling.

1981 c14 s5

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Refusal, etc. of licence

6. The minister may refuse to issue a licence to a person or may suspend or cancel a licence for a reason that appears to him or her to be appropriate.

1981 c14 s6

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7. Where the minister has refused to issue a licence to a person or has suspended or cancelled the licence of a person, the person may appeal to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council from the refusal, suspension or cancellation and the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, after the investigation or hearing that he or she considers expedient, confirm the decision of the minister or may direct that a licence be issued or reinstated.

1981 c14 s7

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Expiry of licence

8. Unless sooner suspended or cancelled a licence expires on December 31 following the date of its issue.

1981 c14 s8

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Duties of well driller

9. A well driller shall

(a) within 1 month after the completion of the drilling of a well make a report to the minister in a form prescribed by the regulations;

(b) permit an inspector, at a reasonable time, to examine and inspect his or her records and equipment and a well drilling operation being carried on by the well driller;

(c) test as prescribed by the regulations the yield of wells drilled by him or her; and

(d) keep and provide the records, returns, test data, geological and other information and specimens that are prescribed by the regulations.

1981 c14 s9

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Appointment of inspector

10. The minister may appoint in the manner authorized by law those inspectors or other officials as he or she considers advisable to carry out and enforce this Act and the regulations.

1981 c14 s10

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Powers of inspector

11. An inspector may, at a reasonable time, enter the business premises of a well driller and premises upon which a well driller is engaged in well drilling to examine and inspect the records and equipment of the well driller and the operation of well drilling in which the well driller is engaged.

1981 c14 s11

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12. In a proceeding under this Act a certificate signed or purporting to be signed by the minister that a person named in the certificate was or was not on a date or during a period set out in the certificate the holder of a licence under this Act is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or authority of the person purporting to sign the certificate and is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of the facts stated in the certificate.

1981 c14 s12

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Production of licence

13. A well driller shall carry his or her licence and show it on request to an inspector or a person who has cause under this Act to ask for it.

1981 c14 s13

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14. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing forms for the purpose of this Act and providing for their use;

(b) prescribing fees for licences;

(c) relating to or providing for the suspension, cancellation and reinstatement of licences;

(d) prescribing the qualifications of a well driller;

(e) prescribing the reports and returns, geological and other information or specifications that may be required to be kept and provided under paragraph 9(a);

(f) prescribing the period for which reports, records and other information shall be retained by well drillers;

(g) respecting the construction, alteration and repair of wells;

(h) requiring dry or abandoned wells to be closed or plugged and protected;

(i) prescribing the method and requirements to be observed in plugging or closing and protecting a well;

(j) prescribing specifications of casing and other materials in wells;

(k) governing the location and spacing of wells;

(l) prescribing the location of wells in relation to buildings or sanitary facilities on the same or adjoining premises;

(m) respecting the methods of drilling wells and precautions and measures to be taken during well drilling and development operations;

(n) prescribing the method and requirements to be observed in testing well yield;

(o) prescribing the proper identification of well drilling machines;

(p) respecting the control and use of the flow of water from a well during and after drilling operations;

(q) governing the establishment and administration of ground water conservation programs;

(r) respecting water control areas;

(s) respecting measures for the prevention of pollution and contamination of ground water and prescribing the circumstances in which those measures shall be taken;

(t) prescribing additional powers and duties of inspectors and other officials appointed under this Act;

(u) exempting from the Act or the regulations a person or class of persons;

(v) respecting other matters relating to the conservation, development and control of ground water resources and the drilling and measurement of wells and the production of ground water from them; and

(w) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

(2) Regulations may be made under subsection (1) to apply to the whole province or may be restricted in their application to specified areas of the province and may be limited as to time or otherwise.

1981 c14 s14

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Offence and penalty

15. A person who contravenes this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction

(a) for a 1st offence, to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment for not more than 30 days or to both a fine and imprisonment; or

(b) for a 2nd or subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or to both a fine and imprisonment.

1981 c14 s15

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