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Program Information

Complaints involving high-capacity agricultural wells are handled by the MDARD, with EGLE 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 EGLE of any third or subsequent unverified complaint.

Only expenses incurred by the small-quantity well owner within 30 days before the complaint was made are eligible for reimbursement under Part 317.  Reimbursement is limited to:

  • 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 EGLE or MDARD are not able to resolve the groundwater dispute, the Directors of EGLE and MDARD have the authority to declare a groundwater dispute. The EGLE or MDARD Director then orders the immediate provision of an adequate supply of potable water. The EGLE 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 EGLE-WRD Water Use Assessment Unit, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7958.  If you have questions, please contact Water Use staff or the EGLE Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278 or