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Water Quality

This website provides information on the City of Wichita's Water Quality Section under Public Works & Utilities. The primary functions of Water Quality are:

  • Permitting and inspection of water wells within the city limits.
  • Testing of personal use water wells for nitrates and bacteria.
  • Conduct inspections of existing water wells when the wells have been reconstructed, decommissioned (abandoned), or when the property is offered for a transfer of ownership. 
  • Processing/Permitting of private Sewage Facility Applications/Permits for installation of, or replacement of, or an addition to an on-site waste disposal system. 
  • Conduct inspections of all regulated (public and semi-public) swimming pools, spa pools, wading pools, and recreationsal water features to ensure compliance with the city regulations that are designed to protect public health.
  • Review plans and specifications for construction of all regulated swimming pools, spa pools, wading pools, and recreational water features to ensure compliance with the city code. 
  • Review of proposed plats to ensure compliance with city well and on-site wastewater disposal system codes. 

Water Wells - Permitting, Inspection, and Testing

All water wells installed within the City of Wichita for domestic use, lawn and garden, or as a personal use water supply must be permitted by the Water Quality Section of Environmental Health under Public Works & Utilities per City Code (Chapter 7.30). Upon completion of the well installation, the well will undergo inspection by Water Quality staff to ensure that the surface completion is in compliance with City Code. If the well is to be used as a drinking water supply, Water Quality staff will also test the water for bacteria and nitrate content to ensure that the water is safe to consume with respect to these two components. A more detailed description of the water well permitting, inspection, and testing process is provided below.

Registered Licensed ​​Water Well Contractors​​

Water well contractors must be licensed by the State of Kansas and registered with the City of Wichita. 

It is unlawful for any person to engage in the operation of a water well drilling business within the city, unless such person has registered with the city to engage in such business. No person shall be registered by the city to engage in a business of water well drilling unless such applicant is licensed as a water well driller by the State of Kansas (Ord. No. 46-119, adopted April 6, 2004).

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Website

 Water Well Program_KDHE, KS

City of Wichita Licensed Water Well Contrac​​tors​​​

​Licensed Water Well Contractor ​Street/PO Box
​City ​State ​Zip ​Phone​
​Bearden Pump and Well Service
223 S Shefford Ct
​(316) 943-9821
​Chase Drilling LLC
PO Box 216
​KS ​67016
(316) 796-1256
East Wichita Well and Pump Service LLC
5159 N 119th St W
​KS ​67101
​(316) 644-1401
​First Street Pump and Well Service
​PO Box 432
​(316) 393-3323
​Fluid Systems
​708 N Taylor St
​El Dorado
​(316) 655-2822
​Funkee Drilling LLC
​PO Box 468
​(316) 207-0871
​Greenstreet Well Service
​259 S Westview Dr
​(316) 644-4844
​GSI Engineering ​4503 E 47th St S ​Wichita ​KS ​67210
​(316) 554-0725
​Harp Well and Pump Service Inc ​215 S Tyler Rd
​(316) 722-1411
​Hobbs Mechanical Inc ​207 E Harvey Ave ​Wellington ​KS ​67152
​(620) 326-7686​
​McPherson Drilling Co
​15256 112th Rd
​(620) 221-3560
​Peterson McNett Drilling
​PO Box 207
​(785) 227-8386
​Premier Pump & Well Service Inc PO Box 637
​(316) 722-8380​
​Reiserer Well Drilling
​14485 SW Prairie Creek Rd
​Rose Hill
​(214) 673-6983
​Weninger Drilling, LLC
PO Box 454
​Maize ​KS ​67101 (316) 729-5881​​​

Location and Construction Stan​dards

Environmental Health inspects to make sure:

  • All wells are located in the required minimum distances from potential pollution sources.
  • All wells appear to meet current construction (well head completion) standards.
  • Any abandoned wells appear to have been properly plugged (decommissioned) by inspection and/or reviewing the plugging report.
  • No well poses a significant risk to the ground water.​​

Drilling a Water Well

A permit must be obtained from Environmental Health prior to installing any private water well within the Wichita city limits, typically this is done by the well driller. Wells that will be used to irrigate areas greater than two acres may need a permit from the Kansas Department of Agriculture - Water Appropriation Program.

 KDA Water Appropriation Program

Sub​mit a Permit Application

A permit application must be submitted for approval prior to well installation. The application may be submitted by fax, mail or directly to Environmental Health. A site plan must be received along with a $150 fee (including application and inspection fees) prior to application approval by Environmental Health. Once the well has been installed, the driller will submit a copy of the drilling log. Only State licensed well contractors registered with the City may drill new wells.

 Well Permit Application Form

Working on the Wate​​r Well

​The homeowner may add to the casing, replace a seal or vent, or work on a pump. A plumber may work on a pump, but may not alter the casing or well seal. A state-licensed water well contractor may work on, add to, or extend the casing, or replace a seal or add a vent. Some repairs or additions may constitute the reconstruction of a well and would require filing a WWC-5 form with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Although anyone may plug a well, it is recommended that only city registered water well contractors plug wells. It would require the contractor to send a completed​ Water Well Plugging Record (WWC-5P) to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and a copy to Environmental Health.

​Sampling the Water ​Well

  1. Only personal use water wells which meet current location and construction/completion standards will be sampled and tested.
  2. If a water sample is found to be bacteriologically unsafe, the well must be chlorinated and re-sampled and tested until a bacteriologically safe water sample is obtained.
  3. In the City of Wichita, if a bacteriologically safe sample cannot be obtained, the property owner must take whatever action is deemed necessary by Environmental Health to obtain a potable water supply.
  4. If warranted, a screening of surrounding land uses and past history of property can offer clues to determine if organic or inorganic chemical analysis will be required.

Submit a Water Well Record (WWC-5)​

Within thirty (30) days after the construction/reconstruction of your well (example: re-driving a sandpoint well), either you or the licensed water well contractor (if you hired one) must send a completed​ Water Well Record (WWC-5) to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and a copy to Environmental Health.

​​​​Water Well Forms & Procedures_KDHE, KS​​​​​​​​​

Testing Your Personal Use Water Well​

Environmental Health recommends annual testing for bacteria and nitrates. 

Surrounding land uses and past history of property can offer clues on what tests to run. Brochures available through the Sedgwick County Extension Service, (316) 660-0100, are valuable resources. "Suggested Water Tests for Private Systems" and "Questions to Ask Before Buying Water Treatment Equipment" are both excellent resources.

Title Transfer Inspections

Per City Code Chapter 7.30.020 (B), a property owner or other holder of a legal interest in the property is obligated to request a water well inspection upon offering a property containing a water well for a transfer of ownership.

During a Title Transfer Inspection, all wells are inspected to ensure compliance with city and state regulations. Water from wells serving homes or businesses for personal use is required to be tested to ensure that it is potable based upon the tests done. Any well found to be out of compliance must be corrected according to regulations as instructed by the inspector.

On-site sewage systems are evaluated at the request of the involved parties to ensure compliance with local and state requirements. Any on-site system found to be out of compliance, causing a nuisance or health risk, must be repaired or replaced according to requirements provided under City Code Chapter 16.12.

Written reports are provided to the requesting party for Title Transfer Inspections. The final cost for a Title Transfer Inspection will vary depending upon the number of water samples and follow up inspections provided. The fee for Title Transfer Inspections are paid in advance. All payments for services are due upon receipt of invoices. Inspections are considered valid for a period of 180 days if there was no title transfer.​

Request a Title Transfer Inspection

Before any property changes ownership in the City of Wichita, all wells on the property are required to be inspected. If the well is for personal use, the water must also be tested.

A Title Transfer Inspection can consist of a water quality program records review, an on-site inspection of any water well(s), inspector-drawn water samples and any on-site wastewater system.

The current fee for a Title Transfer Inspection is $125, which is required to be paid prior to inspection. Water testing and multiple rechecks will incur additional charges. Inspection reports may be provided within five (5) business days of request for an additional fee of $100.

​​ Title Transfer Inspection Request​​​

​Inspection Report

After all the necessary inspection(s), corrections, sampling, connections, or other work has been completed, an inspection report will be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the person requesting the Title Transfer Inspection. A copy can be sent to the property owner, buyer, and/or realtor(s), if email addresses are provided.

Septic Systems - Permitting and Inspection of On-Site Wastewater Disposal Systems

On-Site Wastewater Disposal S​​ystem

Per City Code 16.12.010, every property owner who owns real property within a distance of 150 feet of an accessible public main or lateral sewer shall make proper and permanent connections to the available sewer line and abandon the use of any septic tank systems, on-site waste water or alternative sewer systems. Properties that do not have available city sewer service shall have a permitted on-site wastewater system. The application/permit is to be obtained from the Environmental Health section of Wichita Public Works & Utilities. A property owner is required to obtain a Sewage Facility Application/Permit from Environmental Health for any replacements or additions to an on-site wastewater disposal system. Typically, the permit is obtained by the contractor hired to install or repair the on-site wastewater disposal system.

Air conditioner and sump pump drains, that do not contain wastewater of any kind, should not be connected to an on-site wastewater disposal system.

Septic Tank-Lateral Fi​​eld System

Environmental Health recommends pumping the tank every two (2) years. It is also recommended that a copy of the receipt for pumping is kept for personal property records. The septic tank location is to be provided to the inspector at the time of the inspection, if a septic inspection is requested. 

Environmental Health inspects:

  1. The septic tank-lateral field for signs of surfacing sewage.
  2. To see that sewer lines appear to drain properly.
  3. To see that the septic tank and lateral field are a minimum of 50 feet from any water well.

Waste Stabilization Pon​​d (Lagoon)

Environmental Health inspects:

  1. To see that sewer lines appear to drain properly.
  2. The dikes to insure that they are in good condition and that the pond is not overflowing the dikes.
  3. To see that the lagoon is weed and tree free, and that separation requirements are met.

Swimming Pools - Licensing, Inspection, Health Concerns, and Plan Reviews

Inspection and Plan Reviews

Per Section 7.72 of the City Code, any pool, spa pool, or water feature located within the city limits and intended to be used by the general public or which is semi-public shall be licensed with the City of Wichita. This includes swimming pools, spa pools, and other recreational water features operated by the City of Wichita or public school districts within the city limits. The owner, lessee or manager of each regulated pool, spa pool, or recreational water feature shall keep a daily record on forms furnished by Environmental Health. A copy of the current license for each feature shall be kept with the daily records. The records are to be made available to the Environmental Health representative upon inspection and shall be maintained on site for a period of at least one year.

Per Section 7.72.190 of the City Code, a representative from Environmental Health is authorized to conduct periodic inspections and collect water samples of the regulated pools, spa pool, and water features to ensure that compliance with City Code is maintained. Any pool, spa, or water feature found to be out of compliance can be ordered to be closed until compliance requirements are achieved. The most common reason for closure is insufficient disinfectant levels. Pools can also be closed for failure to maintain and/or provide the appropriate safety equipment, low water visibility (unable to see the bottom of the pool), a fecal and/or vomit accident. If a fecal or vomit accident occurs, the pool manager is to report the incident to Environmental Health at the time of the incident and immediately close the impacted pool, spa, or recreational water feature and direct everyone to leave the facility. The pool manager or operator is then to follow the most current Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended procedures for responding to fecal accidents in chlorinated recreational water venues. If possible, a representative from Environmental Health will arrive on site to conduct an assessment and evaluation. The facility should not be reopened until the CDC recommended procedures have been implemented and the water quality restored.

Environmental Health may, upon ten days written notice, suspend or revoke a license for any of the following reasons;

  1. Violations of Section 7.72 of the City Code with the potential to affect the public health or safety
  2. Repeated violations of Section 7.72 of the City Code, found in consecutive inspections
  3. ​Interference with the regulatory authority in the performance of its duty
  4. Continued operation after an order of closure

No person or entity shall begin construction of a regulated swimming pool, regulated spa pool, wading pool, or other recreational water feature or substantially alter or reconstruct the above without first have submitted plans and specifications to Environmental Health for review and approval. ​

Recreational Water Illne​​ss (RWI)

RWIs are illnesses that are spread by swallowing, breathing or having contact with contaminated water from swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers or oceans. RWIs can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections. The most common reported recreational water illness is diarrhea. Diarrheal illnesses can be caused by germs such as Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus and E. coli O157:H7.

Why is it important to know​​ about RWIs?

Did you know that swimming is the second most popular exercise activity in the United States, with approximately 360 million annual visits to recreational water venues such as pools, spas, wading pools, water slides and other swimming places? On average, people have about 0.14 grams of feces on their bottoms which, when rinsed off, can contaminate recreational water. Unfortunately, the number of Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) are increasing and there is low public awareness of the problem. The City of Wichita Environmental Health Division would like to be at the forefront with efforts to combat RWIs every swim season and provide the information only a click away.

​How are RWIs spr​​ead?

Swimmers who are ill with diarrhea can often carry germs which can contaminate the water if an accident occurs in the pool. If someone swallows water that has been contaminated with feces, he/she may become sick. Many of these diarrhea-causing germs do not have to be swallowed in large amounts to cause illness.

Many other RWIs (skin, ear, eye, respiratory, neurologic, wound, and other infections) are caused by germs that live naturally in the environment (water, soil). In the pool or hot tub, if disinfectant is not maintained at the appropriate levels, these germs can increase to the point where they can cause illness when swimmers breathe or have contact with water containing these germs.

Who is affecte​​d by RWIs?

The real answer is everyone who uses a pool or spa can be at risk. Children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems can suffer more severe from illness if infected.

How are RWIs preve​​nted?

Properly maintaining pools and educating staff swimmers help keep RWIs out of aquatic facilities. By following the 6 Steps for Healthy Swimming, swimmers can help keep themselves and everyone else safe.


Cryptosporidium (Crypto)Giardia​​​​​​Shigella​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Norovirus​​​​​​E.coli O157:H7

Specific R​​WI Infections

​​​​​​ Diarrheal Illness Hot Tub Rash Swimmer's Ear​​​​​ Respiratory Infections​​​​​​ Chemical Irritation of the Eyes and Lungs Infections Unlikely to be Spread in Pools​​

Prevent the Spread of RWIs

​Practice these six steps to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

Six Steps for Healthy Swimming

  Pool Operator Workshop Survey

​   We would like your feedback on our Pool Operator Workshops.​

Take the survey

​Plat Reviews

Development Requirements

Proposed Land Use ​(lot splits, plats, and newly created parcels of land) Utilizing On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems and/or Water Wells

  1. 20,000 square feet minimum lot size, exclusive of dedicated public right of way, provided that approved public water supply is available and percolation rates are 1 inch in 60 minutes or less for use of subsurface wastewater disposal systems (septic tank/lateral systems).
  2. 40,000 square feet minimum lot size, exclusive of dedicated public right of way, if property has neither approved public water nor sanitary sewer and percolation rates are 1 inch in 60 minutes or less for use of soil absorption wastewater disposal systems (septic tank/lateral systems.​​
  3. 10,000 square feet minimum area available and reserved for installation of on-site sewage facilities.
  4. 5 acres minimum parcel size if percolation rates are slower than 1 inch in 60 minutes. A waste stabilization pond (lagoon) is required for sewage disposal on these parcels.
  5. Groundwater elevation (depth) from ground surface must be a minimum of 10 feet average.
  6. Sewage facilities must be kept entirely out of any floodway reserves or easements. Any requested enroachment into the 100 year flood plain will require special review and approval by the Sedgwick County Public Services Bureau and property owners will be responsible for providing any required surveys and certifications.

If sanitary sewer and/or public water is available to serve a property, it must be utilized. Lot size is dependent on Sedgwick County Zoning and Subdivision regulations.

(Percolation tests and/or soil borings are required and must be performed in accordance with Environmental Health procedures by an approved soils testing laboratory)

Installation of onsite wastewater treatment systems

This is a summary of the portions of the Sedgwick County Code Chapter 14, Article V Sec. 23-127 Sanitary Code which apply to dividing and developing land.

Other requirements may also apply; please call (316) 268-8351 if you need additional information.

 Chapter 14, Article V Sec. 23-127

Development Procedures for Areas Eligible for Platting Exemptions Using Onsite ​Disposal

  1. Prepare sketch or plat map outlining tract or area to be developed. Include dimensions. Submit to:
    1. Environmental Health
      455 N Main St, 7th Floor
      Wichita, KS 67202
      P: (316) 268-8351
      F: (316) 858-7787

    2. County Code Enforcement and/or Public Works for preliminary review of floodplain/floodway reserves, access to public roads, and necessary easements.

      Metropolitan Area Building Construction Department (MABCD)
      271 W 3rd St N
      Wichita, KS 67202
      P: (316) 660-1840
      F: (316) 660-1810

  2. Complying with the following, have area surveyed into tracts:
    • If this is in an area permitting 20-acre tracts under zoning regulations, tracts must be a minimum of twenty (20) acres. Acreage must be calculated exclusive of dedicated public right-of-way.
    • If soil type indicates probable lagoon soils, tracts should be a minimum of 250 feet wide to allow proper placement of lagoons. Otherwise, tracts shall be a minimum of 200 feet wide.
    • Adequate land area shall be included outside of floodway/floodplain to allow proper placement of on-site sewage facilities. Refer to attached specification sheets for separation requirements.
    • Each tract shall have access from a public road. Refer to subdivision regulations, Section 3-105 for details.
  3. Submit the completed survey, legal descriptions of individual tract(s), and copies of filed deeds to MABCD for issuance of Platting Exemption(s).
  4. Submit the completed survey and legal descriptions of individual tract(s) to Environmental Health for review. Minimum soil testing requirements shall be determined and returned to the applicant.
  5. Have soil testing conducted. Submit results to Environmental Health. The need for further testing shall be determined by Environmental Health.
  6. MABCD shall forward approved Platting Exemptions to Environmental Health.
  7. Environmental Health shall issue an approval memo for use of on-site sewage disposal systems for a development, and set system requirements for each tract.
  8. Individual property owner(s) or their designated representative(s) shall apply to Environmental Health for issuance of a Construction Approval for on-site sewage facility. To obtain approval, apply in person at the Environmental Health office located on the 7th floor at 455 N Main St. An appointment may be made by calling 316-268-8351 and requesting to speak with a Water Quality Specialist regarding a septic permit. To save time, a site map and plan can be emailed to before the appointment.
  9. After the sewage facility Construction Approval has been issued, individual property owner(s) shall apply to the MABCD for issuance of a Building Permit.
  10. Obtain all required inspections during construction of the sewage facility and the house.
  11. After construction of the on-site sewage facility, and when all inspections have been completed with satisfactory results, the on-site sewage facility shall be approved for use. MABCD shall be notified. Only after such approval shall the building "Occupancy Permit" be issued.