There currently are a total of 16 Groundwater Management Areas in Texas which were created by the state Legislature, "In order to provide for the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging, and prevention of waste of the groundwater, and of groundwater reservoirs or their subdivisions, and to control subsidence caused by withdrawal of water from those groundwater reservoirs or their subdivisions, consistent with the objectives of Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution..." (Texas Water Code §35.001)
The Texas Water Code rule identifies a household well “as exempt from regulation when used solely for domestic use or for providing water for livestock or poultry on a tract of land larger than 10 acres that is either drilled, completed, or equipped so that it is incapable of producing more than 25,000 gallons of groundwater a day.” Individual GCDs do set design restrictions to limit pump capacity, usually between 25 GPM to 35 GPM.
Groundwater resources may be managed and protected locally through the creation of Groundwater Conservation Districts. Visit the Texas Water Development Board's Conservation Districts page to determine if you are located within a Groundwater Conservation District. Find out more at the Texas Alliance for Groundwater Districts.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is responsible for well construction regulations and enforcement though their licensing and registration of water well drillers and pump installers. To locate a Licensed Well Driller/Pump Installer in your area visit the TDLR License Data Search.
Registered water-well drillers must submit reports to the state with each well drilled. Of the 1,000,000 plus water wells drilled in Texas over the past 100 years, more than 130,000 have been inventoried and the data entered into the TWDB groundwater database since 2001.
Information about your well is maintained by the TCEQ and is available on their Water Well Report Viewer. If your well report is not online, reports are available for access at the TCEQ Records Services Department in Austin (512-239-0900).
Public drinking water supplies are monitored to assure safe drinking water for their customers through requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act; any entity that sells water to the consumer must meet these standards. It is recommended that the exempt well owner assure the safety of their drinking water by sampling and analyzing well water quality and comparing the results against the federal drinking water standards.
View the complete list of primary drinking water contaminants, including the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) allowable in a public drinking water supply.
Locations undergoing environmental clean-up can be found at the EPA's Superfund website. If there is a site in your neighborhood, you may want to follow up with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to obtain information about your water supply and risks of contamination.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regulates the wastewater treatment facilities and other environmental clean-up sites that may be contributing to groundwater quality concerns.
The Texas Rail Road Commission regulates wastewater management from oil and gas development.
To find a drinking water laboratory: Call the local County Health Department, or select from a list of National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAC) certified drinking water laboratories.
To find a professional: Licensed well drillers, pump installers, and plumbers are good sources of information. Water quality questions may also be directed to the local Ground Water Conservation District and the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee.
Emergency Disinfection: The use of household chemicals (such as bleach or iodine) to disinfect drinking water without the appropriate equipment or technical supervision should only be considered under emergency situations. For a list of these chemicals and their safe use, see the EPA website.