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Installing Private Water Supply and Geothermal Wells
Installing Private Water Supply Wells
The construction of a new private water supply or a geothermal well is an activity that is required to have a well site review, issuance of a construction permit, and site inspections when working within Story County.

To start the process of the installing your new water supply or geothermal well you will need to choose a certified well contractor and submit an application for private well construction with the proper permit fee to the Story County Environmental Health Department.

The current permit application fee is $150, with $25 of the total going to the IDNR. If submitting payment via check, please make the check out to Story County Treasurer.

Once we have the application and permit fee, we will contact you (and the well contractor) to perform the site review. During this site review we will look at the items listed on the water well setbacks to determine the best placement for the well while conforming to the Iowa Administrative Code 567-49 standards. All setbacks must be maintained for a site to qualify for well installation. Any site that meets these minimum separation distances will qualify as a potential well site.

It should be noted that on parcels or building lots that are small, you may run into site restrictions when dealing with neighboring water supply wells and wastewater treatment systems. The initial site review performed by the Environmental Health Department will look for all existing facilities on local properties and is a important first step in determining proper placement of all needed rural services.

Minimum Lateral
Distance (feet)
Sources of Contamination Shallow Well Deep Well
Formed manure storage structure, confinement building, feedlot solids settling facility, open feedlot 200 100
Public water supply well 400 200

All Wells

Earthen manure storage basin, runoff control basins and anaerobic lagoons (see subrule 49.6(2) below) 1000

Domestic wastewater lagoon


Sanitary landfills


Preparation or storage area for spray materials, commercial fertilizers or chemicals that may result in groundwater contamination


Drainage wells


Conforming wells

Nonconforming wells 100

Soil absorption field, any sewage treatment system with an open discharge, pit privy or septic tank discharge line (not conforming to 567—Chapter 69)


Septic tank, concrete vault privy, sewer of tightly joined tile or equivalent material, sewer-connected foundation drain, or sewers under pressure


Sewer of cast iron with leaded or mechanical joints, sewer of plastic pipe with glued or compression joints, independent clear water drains, cisterns, well pits, or pump house floor drains




Property lines (unless a mutual easement is signed and recorded by both parties)


Liquid hydrocarbon storage tanks


Ditches, streams, ponds, or lakes

Frost pit 10