Groundwater and Wells

Groundwater is a vital resource in Manitoba. It provides a water source to more than 30% of Manitobans. In addition to a drinking water source for private well owners and many municipal water providers, groundwater is an important water source for the agricultural and industrial economy and provides a medium for heating and cooling. Groundwater also sustains many ecosystems, including providing base flow to rivers and streams.

Introduction

Objective

The Groundwater Management Section monitors, evaluates and manages groundwater resources to support sustainable groundwater development, allocation and protection.

Description

The Groundwater Management Section provides monitoring and compilation of groundwater data for the province. The Section advises on groundwater resource management and protection and carries out studies that enhance knowledge of groundwater resources. The section provides basic groundwater information, maps and reports which describe local and regional groundwater resources.

Program Activities:

      • Licenses water well drillers and liaisons between government and drillers.
      • Investigates groundwater issues that may be related to well construction.
  • Maintains and manages groundwater data including water well drillers' reports, groundwater levels, aquifer characteristics, and groundwater chemistry data.
      • Operates and maintains a provincial groundwater monitoring network consisting of more than 850 monitoring wells.
      • Evaluates and monitors ambient groundwater quality and water levels in major aquifers.
      • Carries out mapping and data acquisition to define and characterize aquifers to assess their condition.
  • Reviews and provides technical advice on projects that may potentially impact groundwater quantity or quality under various licensing and permitting processes.
  • Prepares and provides groundwater and water well educational information to private water well owners for maintaining their well, sampling groundwater, understanding water quality and sealing unused wells to protect drinking water quality and human health.

Clients:

Clients include water well drillers, consultants, pump installers, private well owners, developers, agricultural producers, cottage and acreage owners, industry, conservation districts, internal staff and provincial staff in other branches and departments, federal government, and university students and researchers.

Groundwater Information

Aquifers in Manitoba

Groundwater is available from two main aquifer types in Manitoba:

Note that the aquifer boundaries provided in the maps are approximate and based on data available up to 1986.

The geological framework of aquifers in Manitoba including a description of the major aquifer units in Manitoba has been described by Betcher (1985).

Groundwater information for specific areas of the province is also available in the reports and maps sections, or available as part of an Integrated Watershed Management Plan . A map has been developed showing flowing and high water levels in Manitoba for your reference.

Reports and Maps:

Click on the respective links to access available groundwater reports and maps.

For information on flowing and high water levels in Manitoba wells, click here.

Well Water Fact Sheets

The Groundwater Program works closely with the Office of Drinking Water on a number of matters including development of factsheets and maps identifying naturally occurring trace elements in well water that have Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Requests for Data

Requests for groundwater level data and hydrogeologic information can be directed to Groundwater Management by email at groundwater@gov.mb.ca.

Groundwater Resource Links

Links to groundwater related associations and agencies:

Well Owners

As a water well owner, you are responsible for:

  • hiring a licensed well drilling contractor to construct the well
  • ensuring the well is properly maintained
  • ensuring the water is safe to drink
  • ensuring the well is properly sealed when it is no longer in use

Water Well Information

If you are:

  • looking for information on your existing water well
  • a prospective owner inquiring about potential groundwater conditions in the vicinity of a property location

contact the Groundwater Management Section by email at groundwater@gov.mb.ca.

To enable a search for information on your well you need to provide, as a minimum, your name, the land location of the well either in the Dominion Land Survey format (Quarter Section, Section, Township, Range, Meridian, ex: NW14-12-7W), or the River Lot type and number and Parish settlement (ex: River Lot 4 in Parish of St. Peter). Other information which may help refine the search includes:

  • the original well (property) owner
  • the year the well was drilled
  • the name of the well driller
  • for developed areas, your street address

Constructing and Sealing Water Wells in Manitoba

The document Constructing and Sealing Water Wells in Manitoba - Information for Private Well Owners provides information on:

  • water well legislation
  • well construction and sealing
  • standards for the construction and sealing of water wells
  • well owner responsibilities after well construction

Licensed Well Drilling Contractors

Only persons who are licensed as a Manitoba well drilling contractor or who work for such can construct wells in Manitoba. The contact information for licensed well drilling contractors and the activities associated with the license class is maintained online for your reference.

The well drilling contractor is responsible providing a well construction report to the well owner within 45 days of completing the construction of the well.

Requirements for Sealing Wells

Only licensed Manitoba well drilling contractors can seal flowing artesian wells, injection wells, contaminated wells, or wells containing saline water. Other than these exceptions, any person can seal an abandoned well as long as they adhere to the standards developed for the sealing of wells.

For additional information, refer to the document Guide for Sealing Abandoned Water Wells in Manitoba - Technical Information for Well Owners.

Constructing, Modifying or Sealing Wells in the Rockwood Sensitive Area

The Rockwood Sensitive Area is located just north of Winnipeg. Groundwater in this area may be contaminated with a manufactured chemical. Subsequently, under the Rockwood Sensitive Area Regulation of The Environment Act a permit must be obtained prior to drilling, modifying or sealing a well within this area. Permit information can be obtained by contacting Manitoba Sustainable Development at 204-785-5030.

A factsheet has been developed with further information on the contamination in the Rockwood Sensitive Area.

Be Well Aware

For information on groundwater and well basics, well construction and sealing, well maintenance, understanding well water quality, water testing and hiring a water well drilling contractor, click here.

Well Water Fact Sheets

For information on fact sheets related to naturally occurring elements in well water, well water contamination, well water testing and well disinfection, click here.

Well Drillers & Sealers

Constructing and Sealing Wells in Manitoba

The document Constructing and Sealing Wells in Manitoba - Information for Well Driller and Well Sealers provides information on:

  • water well legislation
  • well construction and well sealing
  • well drilling contractor licenses
  • well construction and sealing reports
  • general construction and sealing requirements
  • standards for the construction of wells
  • standards for the sealing of test holes and abandoned wells
  • enforcement of the Act

A map has been developed showing flowing and high water levels in Manitoba for your reference.

Licensing of Well Drilling Contractors

Only persons who are licensed as a Manitoba well drilling contractor or who work for such can construct wells and test holes in Manitoba. Information on how to become a licensed well drilling contractor is documented, and applications can be downloaded. Work is done under four classes of well drilling contractors:

Refer to the above hyperlinks for information on the authorized activities of the above classes of well drilling contractors and a register of the currently licensed drillers associated with each class.

Constructing, Modifying or Sealing Wells in the Rockwood Sensitive Area

The Rockwood Sensitive Area is located just north of Winnipeg. Groundwater in this area may be contaminated with a manufactured chemical. Subsequently, under the Rockwood Sensitive Area Regulation of The Environment Act a permit must be obtained prior to drilling, modifying or sealing a well within this area. Permit information can be obtained by contacting Manitoba Sustainable Development at 204-785-5030.

For additional information on the contamination in the Rockwood Sensitive Area, click here.

Well Construction and Well Sealing Reports

The well drilling contractor is responsible for providing a well construction report to the well owner and the Groundwater Management Section within 45 days of completing the construction of the well.

A ZIP file has been created containing a fillable Well Construction Report in pdf form, a guidelines for completing the report in PDF form and a text file containing instructions. The Well Construction Report can also be downloaded directly.

The well sealer is responsible for providing a well sealing report to the well owner and the Groundwater Management Section within 45 days of completing the sealing of the well.

A ZIP file has been created containing a fillable Well Sealing Report in pdf form, a guidelines for completing the report in PDF form and a text file containing instructions. The Well Sealing Report can also be downloaded directly.

Licensed Well Drilling Contractors

Class 1 (water well)

Authorized Activities

Construct – using well drilling equipment – the following types of wells (unless otherwise specified in a licence):

  • test wells
  • monitoring wells
  • production wells
  • dewatering wells
  • geotechnical wells
  • open loop geothermal wells
  • closed loop geothermal wells
  • flowing artesian wells
  • injection wells
  • sand point wells
Driller Location Phone Number 
A. M. Bruce Drilling Ashern, MB 204-768-2665
Breezy North Construction Inc. Selkirk, MB 204-785-9943
Central Drilling Ltd. Wadena, SK 306-338-2211
Earth Drilling Co. Ltd. Calgary, AB 403-700-8778
Ed & Di Enterprises Ltd. St. Andrews, MB 204-782-1526
Ford Drilling Ltd. Matlock, MB 204-389-5258
Formation Drilling Ltd.  Dauphin, MB 204-638-7325
Friesen Drillers Ltd. Steinbach, MB 204-326-2485
Interlake Water Supply Inwood, MB 204-278-3328
K.D.E. Drilling Ltd. Medora, MB 204-665-2373
Kiansky Bros. Ltd. Zhoda, MB 204-425-3145
Les Forages L.B.M. Inc. Victoriaville, QC 819-758-7883
M & M Drilling Rivers Ltd. Rivers, MB 204-328-7112
Maple Leaf Drilling Ltd. Winnipeg, MB 204-224-3084
Paddock Drilling Ltd. Brandon, MB 204-725-0657
Perimeter Drilling Ltd.  Winnipeg, MB 204-632-6426
Ransom Drilling Ltd. Boissevain, MB 204-534-2529
Selkirk Drillers Ltd. St. Andrews, MB 204-482-7886
Stonewall Drilling Stonewall, MB 204-344-6076
Watkins & Argue Well Drilling Clearwater, MB 204-873-2005
Zechowski Well Drilling Birnie, MB 204-966-3375

Class 2 (closed loop geothermal) 

Authorized Activities

Construct closed loop geothermal wells.

Driller Location Phone Number 
DNS Geothermal Ltd.  Swan River, MB 204-734-2567
Waber Mfg Inc. Sperling, MB 204-750-1515
Western Canadian Loopmasters Souris, MB 204-724-0133

Class 3 (well digging)

Authorized Activities

Construct – by means of digging with non-powered equipment, a backhoe or a power shovel – the following types of wells (unless otherwise specified in a licence):

  • test wells
  • monitoring wells
  • production wells
  • dewatering wells
  • geotechnical wells
Driller Location Phone Number 
Kiansky Bros. Ltd. Zhoda, MB 204-425-3145

Class 4 (other well construction)

Authorized Activities

Construct a type of well described in a licence, by the methods or with the equipment specified in the licence (such as a sand point well)

Driller Location Phone Number 
Rob Smith and Son Backhoe and Trucking Ltd. Neepawa, MB 204-966-3463
Rodren Drilling Ltd.  West St. Paul, MB 204-339-1668
Contact Us

Groundwater Management Section

Any questions or concerns regarding the construction, sealing or maintenance of a well or on the Groundwater and Water Well Act and its regulations can be directed to Groundwater Management by telephone at 204-945-6959 or by email at groundwater@gov.mb.ca.

If you are a well drilling contractor and require

  • information regarding well drilling licensing
  • well construction or well sealing report forms
  • well ID tags

or a well sealer and require

  • information regarding the requirements for sealing a well
  • well sealing report forms

please contact the Well Drilling Liaison Officer at 204-945-4682 (office line), or by email at groundwater@gov.mb.ca.

Office of Drinking Water

Any questions regarding private well water testing, understanding well water quality, well disinfection and water treatment devices can be directed to the Office of Drinking Water.

Water Use Licensing

Information on water use licensing can be obtained from the Water Use Licensing program.

Water Control Works and Drainage Licensing

Information on water control works and drainage licensing can be obtained from the Water Control Works and Drainage Licensing Program.

Onsite Waste Water Management Systems

Information on waste water management systems (ex: septic tanks, disposal field and sewage ejectors) can be obtained from Environmental Approvals Branch