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Finding Private Well Completion Reports

Updated May 27, 2021
David Kringen

David Kringen

SDSU Extension Water Resources Field Specialist

Water Rights tab on the South Dakota Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources (SD DANR) website. For more information, visit the SD DANR website: https://danr.sd.gov/default.aspx
Figure 1. Location of Water Rights tab on the South Dakota Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources website.

This spring, a co-worker and his family purchased an acreage in Hutchinson County in order to be closer to work and cut down on travel time. After moving in, the family soon discovered water-quality issues with their drinking water supply.

They have since installed a water treatment system to help mitigate the issues; but unfortunately, no information (well log, previous water-quality tests, etc.) was ever provided on the well that is the source of their drinking water when the property was purchased.

Well Completion Reports (WCR) tab on SD DANR website. For more information, visit the SD DANR website: https://danr.sd.gov/default.aspx
Figure 2. Location of Well Completion Reports (WCR) tab on SD DANR website.

For those South Dakota residents that may have an interest in finding information on their private well if they have none, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources (SD DANR) has a database on their website where original Well Completion Reports (WCR) can be found.

To find it, go to danr.sd.gov > Office of Water > Water Rights > Databases > Well Completion Reports (WCR).

Well Completion Reports (WCR) site with interactive map and search engine. For more information, visit the SD DANR website: https://danr.sd.gov/default.aspx
Figure 3. Well Completion Reports (WCR) site with interactive map and search engine.

Well logs were required to be submitted to the State of South Dakota starting in 1975, but according to SD DANR, many completion reports for wells older than 1975 exist on the website as well. The best way to find a well log is to know your legal description (Twn-Rng-Sec). However, if you do not know the township/range, you can include the county, which can help narrow down your results as well. You can also search by name/business, but a search by name/business only pertains to ownership at the time the well was drilled. Once you have narrowed down your search, you can click on the PDF report to view and/or print the original log.

WCR Mobile-Friendly tab. For more information, visit the SD DANR website: https://danr.sd.gov/default.aspx
Figure 4. You can also find Well Completion Reports without using the interactive map by clicking the WCR Mobile-Friendly tab.

You can also search for a well log without the use of the interactive map by clicking on the WCR Mobile-Friendly tab as seen in Figure 4.

Be aware that there is a disclaimer on the webpage that does not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of any of the information in the database.

If you find a mistake in a well completion report, have questions or have difficulty getting the search to work, contact the Water Rights Program at 605-773-3352.

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