Overview

The Alberta Water Wells Web Application pulls information from 2 databases:

Alberta Water Well Information Database (AWWID)

The AWWID provides information on:

  • chemical analysis reports
  • flowing shot holes
  • individual water well drilling reports
  • springs
  • test holes
  • water well drilling reports
  • water well decommissioning reports
  • yield tests conducted on water wells

Symbols for these records are goldenrod circles.

Baseline Water Well Tests (BWWT)

The BWWT database provides information on individual water well tests, including:

  • bacteriological analysis
  • gas composition and gas isotope
  • water quality
  • yield test

These tests are primarily conducted in areas of Coalbed Methane (CBM) exploration and development, although some tests done for non-CBM purposes are included. Symbols for these tests are magenta diamonds.

About the Baseline Water Well Testing Program

  • Not all well tests could accurately be linked to a GIC Well ID by the testers for various reasons.
  • Names of individuals are not presented on the well test reports.
  • Landowners/tenants are notified by the company if there were exceedances to the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.
  • Under AER Directive 35, water wells located within 600m (800m if specific criteria are met) of CBM drilling operations must be tested. Testing of water wells around other oil and gas related operations may be voluntarily submitted.

For additional information, see:

How to use the application

To access the application

To use the map

  1. For optimal viewing of the map, set screen resolution to a minimum of 1024 X 768.
  2. You must be at a map scale of 1:144,448 or larger before the dots representing well locations appear. Symbols on the map represent well locations or well tests, but not the number of wells/tests.
  3. Clicking on a symbol will reveal the 7-digit identification number and location information for that well/test. If there is more than one well/test at that location, the dialogue box will allow you to navigate between them.

To see all wells/tests at a specific location

  1. Choose a method by first clicking on the Find Water Wells tab located near the top right hand corner of the screen.
  2. Most users will use the By Land Description tab option. Type the required information and click on Search. A list of search results will show in the right hand side of the map.
  3. Click on Generate Report. If there is only one record, the appropriate well or test report will load. If there is more than one record then a Reconnaissance Report will load. You can review the reconnaissance report to narrow down your search for a particular record.
  4. Clicking on the underlined identification number will load the individual report. Chemistry reports are also available. If the number in the CHM column is underlined then you can go directly to the well water chemistry report.

Multiple records with the same Well ID

There can be several well records (i.e. pieces of information) for the same water well, such as:

  • Chemistry
  • Deepened
  • Existing well-Decommissioned
  • New well
  • Yield test

The date the work was completed will help to confirm the progression of work that was done on a particular well.

Well records not displayed in their current location

Most well records are not precisely located on the map. If no GPS coordinates are provided when the information is submitted, the system generates a GPS location based on the legal land location provided by the submitter. The system-generated GPS coordinates plot the symbol for the well record to the centre of the legal subdivision (LSD) or quarter-section.

That is why there may be multiple records under a single symbol on the map, or why symbols can sometimes appear to be in the middle of a lake.

Several well records for one well

Several records, such as well tests, pump tests or chemistry reports may be listed for a single well, each with a different Well ID.

When well work (such as deepening, reconditioning or decommissioning) is done, recorded and filed, Groundwater Information Centre staff may have entered it under a new Well ID instead of adding to an existing Well ID for that well.

Every test conducted on a well under the Baseline Water Well Testing program is given a new test ID number regardless of how many times the well has been tested previously.

Each time work is done on a well (such as deepening, reconditioning, additional yield testing or decommissioning), the details should be submitted to the GIC and each piece of information becomes a well record that gets linked to the GIC Well ID assigned to the first record that was submitted for the well (usually the drilling report for the well’s original construction).

In the past, however, this didn’t always happen. If insufficient information was submitted to enable the database administrator to confidently match the newly submitted information to an existing record in the AWWID database, the new information was assigned a new GIC Well ID. Fortunately, this type of error has been greatly reduced now that most active water well drillers are using the online submission system to report their data.

In the BWWT database, every test conducted on a well under the Baseline Water Well testing program, when submitted, is given a new test ID, regardless of how many times the well has been previously tested.

A well record is not on the website

Compulsory water well reporting was regulated after the mid-1970s, so records of wells drilled before then may not be in the database. If you cannot find a record for a new well, call the GIC during business hours at 780-427-2770 or send an email to gwinfo@gov.ab.ca.

If the well was drilled in the past 5 years and the driller's name is known, you can contact the Groundwater Information Centre and ask that the driller submit or resubmit the report.

Compulsory Baseline Water Well Testing began in April 2006, so any tests conducted on wells prior to then may not be in the BWWT database.

Matching well records with wells in the field

In densely populated areas such as lake communities or subdivisions, there may be multiple well records under a single symbol on the map, each without a defining lot/block/plan. Indeed it may be difficult to confirm which database record corresponds to each well on location (in the field). The original well owner’s name, the age of the well, the total well depth or the casing type and diameter can be used to attempt making a match.

Today, water well drillers are able to tag all newly constructed wells with a Government of Alberta (GoA) Well Identification Tag that has a unique identification number. That number is reported by the driller when he submits the drilling report. The GoA well tag identification number is not the same as the GIC Well ID number. The GoA well tag number is a field identification number for the well. The GIC Well ID is a database identification number for the well record. Either number can be used to search for well records on the website.

Water chemistry information

Prior to 1986, well water samples collected for routine chemical analysis were submitted to various provincial government laboratories and a copy of the results were submitted to the GIC. Those records are available for viewing on AWWID. Since then, submission of water samples has been routed through the Alberta Health Services’ Public Health Centres but a copy of the results are no longer being submitted to the GIC.

Chemical analysis results for wells tested under the BWWT program are available for viewing on AWWID.

Updating or correcting information on a well record

Alberta Environment and Parks will make corrections to reports as follows:

  • For AWWID well records: If the person submitting the new information is either the original driller, another driller working on the well or the current property owner:
    • Email corrections to gwinfo@gov.ab.ca
    • Be precise in describing the required change(s) and include the GIC Well ID number or the GoA Well Tag number, plus a contact phone number.
  • For BWWT test records: If the person submitting the new information is either the APEGA member overseeing the original well test or the current property owner:

Reconnaissance (summary) sheet

A reconnaissance report is a summary of all well records that can be produced using any of the following search criteria by:

  • selection of a defined geographic area
  • legal land description
  • plan number
  • either GIC Well ID number or GoA Well Tag ID number
  • owner name

A reconnaissance report includes the following legend information:

  • Depth is reported in feet (or metres) from the surface
  • CHM = number of chemical analyses held on file
  • LT = number of lines of lithology
  • PT = number of lines of pump test data (drawdown and/or recovery)
  • Static level is reported in feet (or metres) from the surface (unless otherwise reported in the Additional Comments on Well section on the drilling report)
Colour coding of reconnaissance report based on type of work
Green New Well
Light Green Deepened, Reconstructed, Reconditioned
Red New Well-Decommissioned, Old Well-Decommissioned, Test Hole-Abandoned
Brown Spring, Flowing Shot Hole
White Piezometer, Well Inventory, Old Well-Yield, Test Hole, Other, Unknown

The reconnaissance report is colour coded based on the type of work reflected on each well record. A single GIC Well ID could potentially have multiple associated well records; each record provides an historical account of work done on the well.

Map scale

To locate water wells or well tests on the map:

  1. Zoom in by clicking the +/- buttons in the top left or by scrolling your mouse wheel until symbols appear on the screen.
  2. Symbols will appear when the map scale indicator (bottom left of the map) shows 2km/2mi, or when the 'Current Scale' (bottom of right menu pane) shows 1:144,448.

To print a map

Click on the Print tab in the upper right hand menu pane and follow the directions.

To print a reconnaissance report

After generating a reconnaissance report, the option to save and print will be available in the pdf reader document.

If a well report doesn't fit on one printed page

Change the page set up default so that margins are at the lowest (or zero) margins setting. Most reports will need more than one page to print all of the information.

If you are experiencing problems, contact your internet service provider, your corporate internet support staff or send an email to gwinfo@gov.ab.ca.