Domestic Wells and Rural Water

Rural Water – Frequently Asked Questions


Does Douglas County provide water?
Douglas County Government is not a water provider. More than 30 individual water providers serve the water needs of County residents. For more information on service areas and contact information for Douglas County’s individual water providers, please visit the Water Providers map.

How is water managed in the State of Colorado?
Douglas County Government does not issue water permits, nor does it provide water. The Colorado Division of Water Resources, also known as the State Engineer’s Office, issues water permits, administers water rights, monitors stream flow and water use, inspects dams for safety, maintains databases of Colorado water information, and represents Colorado in interstate water compact proceedings.

A main source of water in Douglas County is ground water pumped from the Denver Basin Aquifer System.  Approximately 485 square miles of the Denver Basin underlies Douglas County.  The remaining western portion of the county overlies a granitic formation.  It is important to note these two differences because the type of well permit required will depend on where in the county you plan to drill, increase the size of, or change the use of your well.

Douglas County requires certain standards regarding water supply during development.  For more information about water supply and the Douglas County Overlay Districts, please refer to the Douglas County Zoning Resolution, Section 18A.

Where do I go to apply for a new domestic well permit?
According to Colorado Water Law, every new well in the State that diverts ground water must have a well permit.  In order to obtain a well permit, you must file an application for approval with the State Engineer’s Office.

I want to drill a domestic well on my property; how do I go about doing this?
An application must be filed with the State Engineer’s Office.

How do I test the quality of my well water?
There is not a legal requirement for a homeowner to test their well except when the well is drilled or the pump is changed; however, it is the responsibility of homeowners to keep their private well water free from pathogens and pollutants.  Well casings that are not properly grouted or shallow dug wells are particularly susceptible to bacteria contamination.  Bacteria can get into wells through improperly sealed well casings, surface water intrusion, poorly maintained or old well casings that have cracks or holes, and through infected well maintenance equipment that was previously used in a different well. Poorly maintained septic systems, excessive use of pesticides, and other pollutants can also migrate into your aquifer.  All new and existing wells used for drinking should be tested seasonally, or after maintenance or replacement work where well equipment is used.  Other pollutants, including common metal and chemical contaminants and the types of tests to conduct, and for a comprehensive list of certified laboratories, please visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

How long will my well produce water?
This is a question that many hydrologists and other water professionals wish they could definitively answer.  There are many factors that determine how long your well will produce water, including the location of your well either in the Denver Basin or in the Pike/Rampart granitic formations, the depth or your well, the number and/or withdrawal rates of nearby wells and the aquifer from which you are pumping water.

The best option is to communicate with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Colorado Water Science Center to determine if well monitoring has been completed in your area of the county.  Contact the Denver USGS at 303-236-6901.

I’m currently not on a domestic well, how do I find out who my water provider is?
Visit the Douglas County Water Provider web page for an interactive map of the County’s water providers, including useful directions for its use.

What are the maintenance steps that I should consider for my domestic well?

The three most important steps to follow while maintaining your well include:

  1. Keep the casing free of cracks or holes.
  2. Ensure the casing is grouted properly.
  3. Ensure the casing of the well extends far enough above ground to prevent surface water from entering into the well. If the casing does not extend above ground, then make sure the casing has a watertight seal.

Regular maintenance of the well and the pump(s) also includes checking your filter pack(s) and screens to ensure they are free from debris and incrustations, and changing them when necessary. Proper drilling-fluid management and well development during well construction greatly enhances your ability to maintain a clean filter pack and good water flow.

How many domestic wells are in Douglas County?
The Colorado Division of Water Resources permits domestic wells.  Based upon information from the State’s database, there’s an estimated 8,500 domestic wells in Douglas County.  For more information, please visit the State’s website.