The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall
have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates
(1) Altering--The process of changing the original
design or intent of a completed well.
(2) Abandoned well--A well that is not in use. A well
is considered to be in use if:
(A) the well is not a deteriorated well and contains
the casing, pump, and pump column in good condition;
(B) the well is not a deteriorated well and has been
(C) the water from the well has been put to an authorized
beneficial use, as defined by the Texas Water Code;
(D) the well is used in the normal course and scope
and with the intensity and frequency of other similar users in the
general community; or
(E) the owner is participating in the Conservation
Reserve Program authorized by Sections 1231 - 1236, Food Security
Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. §§3831 - 3836), or a similar governmental
(3) Annular space--The space between the casing and
(4) Apprentice--An individual registered by the department
to act or offer to act as a driller or installer under the supervision
of, and pursuant to a training program developed by the supervising
licensed driller or pump installer.
(5) Atmospheric barrier--A section of cement placed
from two feet below land surface to the land surface when using granular
sodium bentonite as a casing sealant or plugging sealant in lieu of
(6) Bentonite--A sodium hydrous aluminum silicate clay
mineral (montmorillonite) commercially available in powdered, granular,
or pellet form which is mixed with potable water and used for a variety
of purposes including the stabilization of borehole walls during drilling,
the control of potential or existing high fluid pressures encountered
during drilling below a water table, and to provide a seal in the
annular space between the well casing and borehole wall.
(7) Bentonite grout--A fluid mixture of sodium bentonite
and potable water mixed at manufacturers' specifications to a slurry
consistency that can be pumped through a pipe directly into the annular
space between the casing and the borehole wall. Its primary function
is to seal the borehole in order to prevent the subsurface migration
or communication of fluids.
(8) Borehole or well bore--The drilled hole.
(9) Capped well--A well that is closed or capped with
a covering capable of preventing surface pollutants from entering
the well and sustaining weight of at least 400 pounds and constructed
in such a way that the covering cannot be easily removed by hand.
(10) Casing--A watertight pipe which is installed in
an excavated or drilled hole, temporarily or permanently, to maintain
the hole sidewalls against caving, advance the borehole, and in conjunction
with cementing and/or bentonite grouting, to confine the ground waters
to their respective zones of origin, and to prevent surface contaminant
(11) Cement--A neat portland or construction cement
mixture of not more than seven gallons of water per 94-pound sack
of dry cement, or a cement slurry which contains cement along with
bentonite, gypsum or other additives.
(12) Cessation of drilling--When the borehole has been
drilled to total depth and casing has been placed in the borehole.
(13) Chemigation--A process whereby pesticides, fertilizers
or other chemicals, or effluents from animal wastes is added to irrigation
water applied to land or crop, or both, through an irrigation distribution
(14) Closed Loop Geothermal Well--A vertical closed
system well used to circulate water, and other fluids or gases through
the earth as a heat source or heat sink.
(15) Code--Refers to Texas Occupations Code, Chapters
1901 and 1902.
(16) Commingling--The mixing, mingling, blending or
combining through the borehole casing annulus or the filter pack of
waters that differ in chemical quality, which causes quality degradation
of any aquifer or zone.
(17) Completed monitoring well--A monitoring well which
allows water from a single water-producing zone to enter the well
bore, but isolates the single water-producing zone from the surface
and from all other water-bearing zones by proper casing and/or cementing
procedures. Annular space positive displacement or pressure tremie
tube grouting or cementing (sealing) method shall be used when encountering
injurious water or constituents above or below the zone to be monitored
or if the monitoring well is greater than twenty (20) feet in total
depth. The single water-producing zone shall not include more than
one continuous water-producing unit unless a qualified geologist or
a groundwater hydrologist has determined that all the units screened
or sampled by the well are interconnected naturally.
(18) Completed to produce undesirable water--A completed
well which is designed to extract water from a zone which contains
(19) Completed water well--A water well, which has
sealed off access of injurious water or constituents to the well bore
by utilizing proper casing and annular space positive displacement
or pressure tremie tube grouting or cementing (sealing) methods.
(20) Constituents--Elements, ions, compounds, or substances
which may cause the degradation of the soil or ground water.
(21) Deteriorated well--A well that, because of its
condition, will cause or is likely to cause pollution of any water
in this state, including groundwater.
(22) Dry litter poultry facility--Fully enclosed poultry
operation where wood shavings or similar material is used as litter.
(23) Easy access--Access is not obstructed by other
equipment and the fitting can be removed and replaced with a minimum
of tools without risk of breakage of the attachment parts.
(24) Edwards aquifer--That portion of an arcuate belt
of porous, water bearing, predominantly carbonate rocks known as the
Edwards and Associated Limestones in the Balcones Fault Zone trending
from west to east to northeast in Kinney, Uvalde, Medina, Bexar, Comal,
Hays, Travis, Williamson, and Bell Counties; and composed of the Salmon
Peak Limestone, McKnight Formation, West Nueces Formation, Devil's
River Limestone, Person Formation, Kainer Formation, Edwards Formation
and Georgetown Formation. The permeable aquifer units generally overlie
the less-permeable Glen Rose Formation to the south, overlie the less-permeable
Comanche Peak and Walnut formations north of the Colorado River, and
underlie the less-permeable Del Rio Clay regionally.
(25) Environmental soil boring--An artificial excavation
constructed to measure or monitor the quality and quantity or movement
of substances, elements, chemicals, or fluids beneath the surface
of the ground. The term shall not include any well that is used in
conjunction with the production of oil, gas, or any other minerals.
(26) Filter pack--The media that is used in the annular
space around the well screen to create a filter to prevent sand or
sediment from entering the well.
(27) Flapper--The clapper, closing, or checking device
within the body of the check valve.
(28) Foreign substance--Constituents that include recirculated
tailwater and open-ditch water when a pump discharge pipe is submerged
in the ditch.
(29) Freshwater--Water whose bacteriological, physical,
and chemical properties are such that it is suitable and feasible
for beneficial use.
(30) Granular sodium bentonite--Sized, coarse ground,
untreated, sodium based bentonite (montmorillonite) which has the
specific characteristic of swelling in freshwater.
(31) Grout--This term shall include cement or bentonite
mixed with water, or a combination of bentonite and cement mixed with
water and/or department-approved additives.
(32) Injection well--This term includes:
(A) an air-conditioning return flow well used to return
water that has been used for heating or cooling in a heat pump to
the aquifer that supplied the water;
(B) a cooling water return flow well used to inject
water that has been used for cooling;
(C) a drainage well used to drain surface fluid into
a subsurface formation;
(D) a recharge well used to replenish water in an aquifer;
(E) a saltwater intrusion barrier well used to inject
water into a freshwater aquifer to prevent the
intrusion of salt water into fresh water;
(F) a sand backfill well used to inject a mixture of
water and sand, mill tailings, or other solids into subsurface mines;
(G) a subsidence control well used to inject fluids
into a non-oil-producing or non-gas-producing zone to reduce or eliminate
subsidence associated with the overdraft of fresh water; and
(H) a closed system geothermal well used to circulate
water, other fluids, or gases through the earth as a heat source or
(33) Injurious water--Water that is harmful to vegetation,
land or other water as set forth in §1901.254(a) and §1902.252(a)
of the Code.
(34) Irrigation distribution system--A device or combination
of devices having a hose, pipe, or other conduit which connects directly
to any water well or reservoir connected to the well, through which
water or a mixture of water and chemicals is drawn and applied to
land. The term does not include any hand held hose sprayer or other
similar device, which is constructed so that an interruption in water
flow automatically prevents any backflow to the water source.
(35) Monitoring well--An artificial excavation that
is constructed to measure or monitor the quantity or movement of substances
below the surface of the ground, and that is not used in conjunction
with the production of oil, gas, or other minerals.
(36) Mud for drilling--A relatively homogenous, viscous
fluid produced by the suspension of clay-size particles in water or
the additives of bentonite or polymers.
(37) Offering to act--Making a written or oral proposal,
contracting in writing or orally to perform well drilling or pump
installing work, or advertising in any form through any medium that
a person or business entity is a well driller or pump installer, or
that implies in any way that a person or business entity is available
to contract for, act as a driller or installer, or perform well drilling
or pump installing work.
(38) Piezometer--A device so constructed and sealed
as to measure hydraulic head at a point in the subsurface.
(39) Piezometer well--A well of a temporary nature
constructed to monitor well standards for the purpose of measuring
water levels or used for the installation of piezometer resulting
in the determination of locations and depths of permanent monitor
(40) Placement and preparation for operation of equipment
and materials--Includes but is not limited to removing the pump.
(41) Plugging--An absolute sealing of the well bore.
(42) Pollution--The alteration of the physical, thermal,
chemical, or biological quality of, or the contamination of, any water
that renders the water harmful, detrimental, or injurious to humans,
animals, vegetation, or property, or to public health, safety, or
welfare, or impairs the usefulness or the public enjoyment of the
water for any or reasonable purpose.
(43) Positive Displacement method--The process in which
the cement, bentonite or a combination of the two sealing materials
is forced through the well casing followed by water or drilling fluids,
via a mechanical pump and out through relief holes in the casing at
the maximum depth of the zone to be grouted. The grout then returns
under pressure to the surface through the annular space and upon curing
or setting causing an annular seal.
(44) Potable water--Water which is safe for human consumption
in that it is free from impurities in amounts sufficient to cause
disease or harmful physiological effects.
(45) Public water system--A system supplying water
to a number of connections or individuals, as defined by current rules
and regulations of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,
30 TAC Chapter 290.
(46) Recharge zone--Generally, that area where the
stratigraphic units constituting the Edward Aquifer crop out, including
the outcrops of other geologic formations in proximity to the Edwards
Aquifer, where caves, sinkholes, faults, fractures, or other permeable
features would create a potential for recharge of surface waters into
the Edwards Aquifer. The recharge zone is identified as that area
designated as such in official maps in the appropriate regional office
of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
(47) Reconditioning--The process where a well is cleaned
out to original depth and the water production is restored. This term
shall include any procedures that make the well operable.
(48) Re-completion--The process to bring an existing
well into compliance with §76.100 or §76.105 by installing
any and all sanitary seals, safeguards, casing, grouting, and the
re-setting of well screens as required.
(49) Recovery well--A well constructed for the purpose
of recovering injurious groundwater for treatment or removal of contamination.
(50) Sanitary well seal--A watertight device to maintain
a junction between the casing and the pump column.