Apprentice CEUs for 2011

Module 1 Rules

76.1. Purpose of Rules.

To provide procedural and substantive requirements for the licensing, complaint procedures, continuing education, and technical standards for well drillers and pump installers, and to ensure the quality of the State's ground water for the safety and welfare of the public under the Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1901 and 1902.

76.10. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Abandoned well–A well that has not been used for six consecutive months. A well is considered to be in use in the following cases:

(A) a non-deteriorated well which contains the casing, pump, and pump column in good condition; or

(B) non-deteriorated well which has been capped.

(2) Annular space–The space between the casing and borehole wall.

(3) Atmospheric barrier–A section of cement placed from two feet below land surface to the land surface when using granular sodium bentonite as a casing sealant or plugging sealant in lieu of cement.

(4) Bentonite–A sodium hydrous aluminum silicate clay mineral (montmorillonite) commercially available in powdered, granular, or pellet form which is mixed with potable water and used for a variety of purposes including the stabilization of borehole walls during drilling, the control of potential or existing high fluid pressures encountered during drilling below a water table, and to provide a seal in the annular space between the well casing and borehole wall.

(5) Bentonite grout–A fluid mixture of sodium bentonite and potable water mixed at manufacturers’ specifications to a slurry consistency that can be pumped through a pipe directly into the annular space between the casing and the borehole wall. Its primary function is to seal the borehole in order to prevent the subsurface migration or communication of fluids.

(6) Capped well–A well that is closed or capped with a covering capable of preventing surface pollutants from entering the well and sustaining weight of at least 400 pounds and constructed in such a way that the covering cannot be easily removed by hand.



(7) Casing–A watertight pipe which is installed in an excavated or drilled hole, temporarily or permanently, to maintain the hole sidewalls against caving, advance the borehole, and in conjunction with cementing and/or bentonite grouting, to confine the ground waters to their respective zones of origin, and to prevent surface contaminant infiltration.

(A) Plastic casing–National Sanitation Foundation (NSF-WC) or American Society of Testing Material (ASTM) F-480 minimum SDR 26 approved water well casing.

(B) Steel Casing–New ASTM A-53 Grade B or better and have a minimum weight and thickness of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) schedule 10.

(C) Monitoring wells may use other materials, such as fluoropolymer (Teflon), glass-fiber-reinforced epoxy, or various stainless steel alloys.

(8) Cement–A neat portland or construction cement mixture of not more than seven gallons of water per 94-pound sack of dry cement, or a cement slurry which contains cement along with bentonite, gypsum or other additives.

(9) Chemigation–A process whereby pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals, or effluents from animal wastes is added to irrigation water applied to land or crop, or both, through an irrigation distribution system.

(10) Closed Loop Geothermal Well–A vertical closed system well used to circulate water, and other fluids or gases through the earth as a heat source or heat sink.

(11) Commission–The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation.

(12) Complainant–A person who has filed a complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) against any party subject to the jurisdiction of the Department. The Department may be the complainant.

(13) Completed monitoring well–A monitoring well which allows water from a single water-producing zone to enter the well bore, but isolates the single water-producing zone from the surface and from all other water-bearing zones by proper casing and/or cementing procedures. Annular space positive displacement or pressure tremie tube grouting or cementing (sealing) method shall be used when encountering undesirable water or constituents above or below the zone to be monitored or if the monitoring well is greater than twenty (20) feet in total depth. The single water-producing zone shall not include more than one continuous water-producing unit unless a qualified geologist or a groundwater hydrologist has determined that all the units screened or sampled by the well are interconnected naturally.

(14) Completed to produce undesirable water–A completed well which is designed to extract water from a zone which contains undesirable water.

(15) Completed water well–A water well, which has sealed off access of undesirable water or constituents to the well bore by utilizing proper casing and annular space positive displacement or pressure tremie tube grouting or cementing (sealing) methods.

(16) Constituents–Elements, ions, compounds, or substances which may cause the degradation of the soil or ground water.



(17) Dry litter poultry facility–Fully enclosed poultry operation where wood shavings or similar material is used as litter.

(18) Easy access–Access is not obstructed by other equipment and the fitting can be removed and replaced with a minimum of tools without risk of breakage of the attachment parts.

(19) Edwards aquifer–That portion of an arcuate belt of porous, water bearing, predominantly carbonate rocks known as the Edwards and Associated Limestones in the Balcones Fault Zone trending from west to east to northeast in Kinney, Uvalde, Medina, Bexar, Comal, Hays, Travis, Williamson, and Bell Counties; and composed of the Salmon Peak Limestone, McKnight Formation, West Nueces Formation, Devil’s River Limestone, Person Formation, Kainer Formation, Edwards Formation and Georgetown Formation. The permeable aquifer units generally overlie the less-permeable Glen Rose Formation to the south, overlie the less-permeable Comanche Peak and Walnut formations north of the Colorado River, and underlie the less-permeable Del Rio Clay regionally.

(20) Environmental soil boring–An artificial excavation constructed to measure or monitor the quality and quantity or movement of substances, elements, chemicals, or fluids beneath the surface of the ground. The term shall not include any well that is used in conjunction with the production of oil, gas, or any other minerals.

(21) Executive Director— means the executive director of the Department.

(22) Flapper–The clapper, closing, or checking device within the body of the check valve.

(23) Foreign substance–Constituents that includes recirculated tailwater and open-ditch water when a pump discharge pipe is submerged in the ditch.

(24) Freshwater–Water whose bacteriological, physical, and chemical properties are such that it is suitable and feasible for beneficial use.

(25) Granular sodium bentonite–Sized, coarse ground, untreated, sodium based bentonite (montmorillonite) which has the specific characteristic of swelling in freshwater.

(26) Groundwater conservation district–Any district or authority to which Chapter 36, Water Code, applies and that has the authority to regulate the spacing or production of water wells.

(27) Injection well includes:

(A) an air-conditioning return flow well used to return water that has been used for heating or cooling in a heat pump to the aquifer that supplied the water;

(B) a cooling water return flow well used to inject water that has been used for cooling;

(C) a drainage well used to drain surface fluid into a subsurface formation;

(D) a recharge well used to replenish water in an aquifer;

(E) a saltwater intrusion barrier well used to inject water into a freshwater aquifer to prevent the intrusion of salt water into fresh water;

(F) a sand backfill well used to inject a mixture of water and sand, mill tailings, or other solids into subsurface mines;

(G) a subsidence control well used to inject fluids into a non-oil-producing or non-gas-producing zone to reduce or eliminate subsidence associated with the overdraft of fresh water; and

(H) a closed system geothermal well used to circulate water, other fluids, or gases through the earth as a heat source or heat sink.



(28) Irrigation distribution system–A device or combination of devices having a hose, pipe, or other conduit which connects directly to any water well or reservoir connected to the well, through which water or a mixture of water and chemicals is drawn and applied to land. The term does not include any hand held hose sprayer or other similar device, which is constructed so that an interruption in water flow automatically prevents any backflow to the water source.

(29) Monitoring well–An artificial excavation constructed to measure or monitor the quality and/or quantity or movement of substances, elements, chemicals, or fluids beneath the surface of the ground. Included within this definition are environmental soil borings, piezometer wells, observation wells, and recovery wells. The term shall not include any well that is used in conjunction with the production of oil, gas, coal, lignite, or other minerals.

(30) Mud for drilling–A relatively homogenous, viscous fluid produced by the suspension of clay-size particles in water or the additives of bentonite or polymers.

(31) Piezometer–A device so constructed and sealed as to measure hydraulic head at a point in the subsurface.

(32) Piezometer well–A well of a temporary nature constructed to monitor well standards for the purpose of measuring water levels or used for the installation of piezometer resulting in the determination of locations and depths of permanent monitor wells.

(33) Placement and preparation for operation of equipment and materials – Includes but is not limited to removing the pump.

(34) Plugging–An absolute sealing of the well bore.

(35) Pollution–The alteration of the physical, thermal, chemical, or biological quality of, or the contamination of, any water that renders the water harmful, detrimental, or injurious to humans, animals, vegetation, or property, or to public health, safety, or welfare, or impairs the usefulness or the public enjoyment of the water for any or reasonable purpose.

(36) Potable water–Water which is safe for human consumption in that it is free from impurities in amounts sufficient to cause disease or harmful physiological effects. For purposes of this chapter, water may be rendered potable by adding chlorine bleach at the rate of one (1) gallon of bleach for every 500 gallons of water.

(37) Public water system–A system supplying water to a number of connections or individuals, as defined by current rules and regulations of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 30 TAC Chapter 290.

(38) Recharge zone–Generally, that area where the stratigraphic units constituting the Edward Aquifer crop out, including the outcrops of other geologic formations in proximity to the Edwards Aquifer, where caves, sinkholes, faults, fractures, or other permeable features would create a potential for recharge of surface waters into the Edwards Aquifer. The recharge zone is identified as that area designated as such in official maps in the appropriate regional office of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.



(39) Recovery well–A well constructed for the purpose of recovering undesirable groundwater for treatment or removal of contamination.

(40) Sanitary well seal–A watertight device to maintain a junction between the casing and the pump column.

(41) Test well–A well drilled to explore for groundwater.

(42) Undesirable water–Water that is injurious to human health and the environment or water that can cause pollution to land or other waters.

(43) Water or waters in the state–Groundwater, percolating or otherwise, lakes, bays, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, the Gulf of Mexico inside the territorial limits of the state, and all other bodies of surface water, natural or artificial, inland or coastal, fresh or salt, navigable or non-navigable, and including the beds and banks of all watercourses and bodies of surface water, that are wholly or partially inside or bordering the state or inside the jurisdiction of the state.

(44) Well–A water well, test well, injection well, dewatering well, monitoring well, closed loop geothermal well, piezometer well, observation well, or recovery well.

(45) State of Texas Well Report (Well Log)–A log recorded on forms prescribed by the Department, at the time of drilling showing the depth, thickness, character of the different strata penetrated, location of water-bearing strata, depth, size, and character of casing installed, together with any other data or information required by the Executive Director.

76.200. Licensing Requirements–General

A person may not act or offer to act as a driller or pump installer unless the person holds a license issued by the Executive Director pursuant to the Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1901 and 1902.


76.201. Requirements for Issuance of a License.

(a) A completed application, accompanied by the required examination fee, must be submitted by each person desiring to obtain a well driller's and/or pump installer's license.

(b) After approval, each applicant desiring a well driller’s and/or pump installer’s license must pass the General Well Driller and/or General Pump Installer examination(s) and any designated well driller and/or pump installer examination(s) for license issuance eligibility.

(c) Upon passing the examination(s), an applicant must submit the required license fee to the Department.

(d) A licensee, not licensed to perform all types of well drilling and pump installation, may apply for designation for additional types of well drilling or pump installation. Applications for additional designations shall be accompanied by the appropriate application fee, and shall contain all information required by these rules for an initial license. Upon examination of the applicant's qualifications, the Executive Director shall deny or grant additional grades of licensure.

(1) An applicant who has demonstrated competency in all types of well drilling shall be deemed qualified for a master driller's license.

(2) An applicant who has demonstrated competency in all types of pump installation shall be deemed qualified for a master pump installer's license.


76.202. Applications for Licenses and Renewals.

(a) Application shall be made on forms provided by the Department.

(b) Application shall include:

(1) a letter of reference from a licensed well driller or pump installer with the same type of designation, as applicable, who has at least two years licensed experience in well drilling/pump installing;

(2) names, addresses, and telephone numbers of ten (10) well drilling or pump installer customers, as applicable, who are not related within the second degree of consanguinity to the applicant (i.e., may not be the applicant's spouse, or related to the applicant or applicant's spouse, as a child, grandchild, parent, sister, brother, or grandparent);

(3) For well driller applicants, ten (10) corresponding State of Texas Well Reports shall be submitted for the wells drilled in compliance with Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1901 and 1902 and these Rules by the applicant as an apprentice or employee under the supervision of a driller licensed under the Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1901 and 1902 and these Rules;

(4) the applicant's statement that he has drilled wells or installed pumps under the supervision of a driller or pump installer licensed under the Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1901 and 1902 for two years or that he has other well drilling or pump installing experience as defined by this chapter; and

(5) the applicant's sworn statement that he has read and will adhere to the requirements of the Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1901 and 1902 and this chapter.

(c) For consideration and review of qualifications, a completed application must be received by the Department at least 45 days prior to a scheduled examination.

(1) The Department will send written notice to the applicant informing the applicant that the application is administratively complete and accepted for filing, or that the application is deficient in specific areas and the applicant has 30 days to submit additional information to correct the deficiency or deficiencies.

(2) If the required information is not forthcoming from the applicant within 30 days of the date of mailing of the deficiency notice, the applicant will not be eligible for Department review and possible examination.

(3) If the applicant disagrees that the application is deficient, the applicant may file a motion for reconsideration of the Department’s action.

(d) A license issued by the Department will expire annually from the date of issuance.

(e) Intentionally misstating or misrepresenting a fact on an application, renewal application, state well report, plugging report, or with any other information or evidence furnished to the Department in connection with official Departmental matters shall be grounds for assessing penalties and/or sanctions.



76.203. Examinations.

(a) Examinations shall be designed to determine if the applicant possesses the requisite knowledge of pump installation techniques, well drilling, completion, and plugging methods and techniques, and of groundwater formations to ensure that the licensee will not present a serious risk of pollution of a groundwater source.

(b) Examinations shall be offered on a regular basis at a time and place designated by the Executive Director.

(c) Additional examinations shall be offered if more than ten (10) applicants petition the Executive Director in writing.

(d) An applicant may only take the examination twice within any 12‑month period.

(e) Each time an applicant applies to retake the Department’s examination an applicant must submit the re-examination fee.

76.204. License and Apprentice Registration Renewal.

(a) On or before the expiration date of the license or registration, the licensee or registrant shall pay an annual renewal fee to the Department and submit an application for renewal.

(b) To renew a license, the licensee is required to show proof of four (4) hours of continuing education in compliance with §76.250(b).

(c) To renew an apprentice registration the registrant is required to show proof of one hour of continuing education in compliance with §76.250(c).

(d) Late renewal fees for licenses and registrations issued under this chapter are provided under §60.83 of this title (relating to Late Renewal Fees).

(e) A person's registration will not be renewed unless their supervisor's well driller and/ or pump installer license is current.

(f) Requests to waive the Continuing Education requirements because the license holder does not supervise, contract with the public, or has retired from the drilling or pump service industry shall:

(1) be submitted in writing to the Department;

(2) contain a detailed explanation of the conditions under which the waiver is requested;

(3) be accompanied by the renewal fee; and

(4) be inactive for a minimum of one (1) year.

(g) To re-instate a driller and/or pump installer license to supervise and/or contract with the public, the driller and/or pump installer must submit four (4) hours of continuing education in compliance with §76.250(b).



76.205. Registration for Driller and/or Pump Installer Apprenticeship

(a) A person who wishes to undertake a Department approved apprentice program under the supervision of a licensed well driller and/or a licensed pump installer who has been licensed for a minimum of two (2) years, must submit a registration form to the Department and provide proof that the licensed well driller and/or pump installer has agreed to accept the responsibility of supervising the training. A driller or pump installer may not supervise more than three apprentices at any one time. Persons with both a well driller and a pump installer license may register a maximum of six apprentices (three of each type) at any one time.

(b) A registered driller or pump installer apprentice shall represent his supervising driller or pump installer during operations at the well site.

(c) The Department shall review driller and /or pump installer apprentice registration forms.

(d) A registered driller/pump installer apprentice may not perform, or offer to perform, any services associated with drilling or pump installing except under the direct supervision of a licensed driller/pump installer and according to the supervising driller/pump installer’s express directions. A driller/pump installer apprentice’s registration may be revoked for engaging in prohibited activities.



(e) Registration forms shall include:

(1) the name, business address, and permanent mailing address of the apprentice in training;

(2) the name, business address, and license number of the licensed driller and/or pump installer who will supervise the training;

(3) a detailed description of the training program ,including the types of wells to be drilled and/or the classifications of pumps to be installed, equipment used, safety training and procedures, and experience, knowledge, and qualification benchmarks while under the apprenticeship ;

(4) the effective commencement and termination date of the training program;

(5) a statement by the licensed driller and/or pump installer accepting financial responsibility for the activities of the apprentice associated with the training program or undertaken on behalf of the licensed driller or pump installer; and

(6) the signatures of the apprentice and the licensed driller and/or pump installer and the sworn statement of both that the information provided is true and correct.

(f) If the application conforms to the rules and the apprentice program meets Department requirements, the Department will notify the apprentice and the supervising driller and/or pump installer that the applicant has been accepted as a registered driller and/or pump installer apprentice and that the registration form shall remain in the Department’s files for the stated duration of the apprentice period.

(g) If the application and apprentice program do not conform to the rules or is not approved, the Department shall notify the apprentice and the apprentice's supervising driller and/or pump installer of the disapproval.

(h) A driller/pump installer apprentice must have the registration issued by the department in his possession at all times and must present the registration upon request.