Groundwater Protection

Purpose and Function

The Water Quality Regional Operations Section's Groundwater Protection Programs are responsible for protecting and preserving the high quality of North Carolina's groundwater resources.  This is accomplished by implementing pollution prevention strategies, compliance assessments, and abatement programs, all of which contribute to the protection of human health and the environment in which we live.  In addition to implementing well construction regulations for injection wells and other types of wells, the Groundwater Protection Programs provide hydrogeological support to other Division of Water Resources programs regulating activities that may affect groundwater resources. 

Use the navigation links to the right to access application and reporting forms, contact staff, or learn more about program areas such as:

News and Noteworthy Information

  • NEW : Guidelines for Monitored Natural Attenuation - February 15, 2018. Please click here for the document . Under 15A NCAC 02L .0106(k) and (l), Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) may be proposed as a corrective action remedy for groundwater contamination. However, in order to approve the use of MNA, an extensive knowledge of the geological, hydrogeological, and geochemical properties of a site must be demonstrated in order to predict the time and direction of travel of a contaminant plume. Therefore, the purpose of this document is to outline the Division of Water Resource’s expectations for an approvable MNA Corrective Action Plan for inorganic contaminants. This guidance is NOT intended to address risk-based remediation.

  • NEW: Guidance for 2L/2B charcterization: Please click here for the document. Surface water monitoring and characterization are important steps in determining compliance with the 15A NCAC 02B Rules and remedial strategies allowed under the 15A NCAC 02L .0106 Rules.  Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) is not an allowable remedial alternative if contaminated groundwater discharging to surface water causes violations of the 15A NCAC 02B Surface Water Standards.  This document is an internal guidance for Division of Water Resources staff to aid in developing a strategy to collect data for the characterization of contaminated groundwater discharge to surface waters.  Responsible parties and their consultants can use this guidance to understand the expectations that staff have when reviewing a proposed surface water characterization plan.
  • Guidelines for The Investigation and Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contamination- January 10, 2018. Please click here for the document. The Soil and Groundwater Remediation guidance document provides instructions for those involved in the investigation and remediation of discharges or releases regulated by the North Carolina Department of Environmentla Quality, Division of Water Resources, resulting in soil and groundwater contamination. This document provides information on the (1) statutes and rules governing groundwater investigations, (2) links to other appropriate policy and guidance documents, and (3) recommended process to comply with regulatory requirements. For site assessments and corrective purposes, this document in intended to provide guidance for those seeking Corrective Action PLan approval under 15A NCAC 02L.0106. For those seeking approval for site assessments and corrective action under Session Law 2015-286 through risk-based alternatives, please visit or Risk-Based Remediation webpage (https://deq.nc.gov/permits-regulations/risk-based remediation.)

  • Lists of Approved Well Disinfection and Rehabilitation Chemicals and Specialty Grouts - View this file to see which substances have met regulatory requirements for use in addition to those substances specified in the 15A NCAC 02C .0100 well construction standards.  Want to use a product not on the list?  Refer to the Approval Procedure for Specialty Grout, Well Disinfection Methods and Materials, and Well Rehabilitation Methods and Materials for guidance on having a product evaluated for use.
  • List of Approved Injectants - View this file to see which substances have met regulatory requirements for use with injection wells.  This list is updated as new injectants are approved for use.  Submit the appropriate risk assessment form (microbial or non-microbial) with a permit application or notification form and the product will be evaluated for use. NOTE : This list is under review and is subject to change in 2018.
  • Effective January 4, 2014, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act will implement changes to Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regarding the sale and use of lead pipes, plumbing fittings or fixtures, solder, and flux.  Details about the new "lead-free law" are available online at http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/lead/ and
     http://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?dirEntryId=259890  
  • May 15, 2013 - Permit applications and permitted facilities can now be tracked using DENR's interactive online maps. These tools are available on the Permit Process webpage under the Application & Permit Tracking heading.
  • On April 19, 2012, the Rules Review Commission approved the injection well rules adopted by the Environmental Management Commission on March 8, 2012.  The new rules became effective on May 1, 2012.  Major changes are summarized in memoranda addressing geothermal systemsgroundwater remediation, andstormwater infiltration.
  • BMP Guide for Managing Water Produced During Well Drilling