Program Information

Complaints involving high-capacity agricultural wells are handled by the MDARD, with the MDEQ handling complaints regarding other high-capacity wells.  Dewatering wells (including quarries and gravel mining operations) and fire suppression wells are exempt from Part 317.  

Complaints from small-quantity well owners must be accompanied by written documentation from a Michigan registered well driller that the problems with the small-quantity well are not due to equipment failure or well damage. Complaints must be submitted using the Groundwater Dispute Complaint Form and include the Water Supply Assessment Form completed by a Michigan registered well driller. It is important that the small quantity well owner fill out the dispute complaint form as accurately and completely as possible.  There must be sufficient evidence to establish a reasonable belief that the well impact was caused by a high-capacity well. If someone submits more than two unverified complaints (no reasonable evidence found to declare a groundwater dispute) within 1 year, he/she may be required to pay for the full costs of investigation by MDARD or MDEQ of any third or subsequent unverified complaint.

The only expenses incurred by the small-quantity well owner that are eligible for reimbursement are those incurred no more than 30 days prior to the date that the complaint was made, including:

•    The cost of paying for a well assessment from a licensed water well driller to determine that the small-quantity well and equipment were functioning properly at the time of the well failure.

•    Paying for the cost of obtaining an immediate temporary adequate supply of potable water.

•    The restoration of the affected small-quantity well’s normal supply of water OR the permanent provision of an alternative potable supply of equal quality.

If the MDEQ or MDARD are not able to resolve the groundwater dispute, the Directors of MDEQ and MDARD have the authority to declare a groundwater dispute. The MDEQ or MDARD Director then orders the immediate provision of an adequate supply of potable water. The MDEQ or MDARD Director can also order restrictions on pumping of the high-capacity well and order the high-capacity well owner to provide timely and reasonable compensation to the impacted small-quantity well owner.

The complaint and well assessment forms may be faxed toll-free to 855-629-4337 (from outside of Michigan fax to 517-335-0894), emailed to, or mailed to MDEQ-WRD Great Lakes Shorelands Unit, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan  48909-7958.  If you have questions please contact the staff listed below or the MDEQ Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278.