Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System (PaGWIS)



View Groundwater records online

Viewing records online allows you to enter search criteria, and to export the results as a comma separated value file that can then be imported into most database and spreadsheet software packages. The online search contains only well data, and does not include all of the fields of data submitted though the years. For more complete information, refer to the Microsoft Access file below.



Download PaGWIS data in MS Access 2000 format

The statewide PaGWIS file must be downloaded and viewed with Microsoft Access. The Access database includes queries and forms that allow you to perform searches similar to the PaGWIS Online record searches. The statewide database uses the same dataset of water wells as the online search; however, the Access database has additional fields for water-well records and also contains additional data on springs, spring-water quality, and well-water quality. With Access, the user has the added advantage of being able to modify queries for specific data extractions.


General Information

Over the years, water well records that comprise the Pennsylvania GroundWater Information System (PaGWIS) have come from various sources, but most of the well records have been submitted to the Pennsylvania Geological Survey by water well drillers. Records submitted by drillers have been added to PaGWIS in various stages over the years, starting in 1969. The data entered varied somewhat with each generation of data entry.

Records originally entered into PaGWIS have latitude and longitude coordinates.  These coordinates were determined by Survey staff by plotting the best estimate of the location of the well based on the written description of the well location and the sketch map included on the paper well record.  The goal was for the coordinates of each well to be within one mile of its actual location. These records are included in the results of radial and polygonal searches. These records do not include the well address or the driller's log.  There are no links to digital images of the paper records for these wells.

For years, no records were entered into PaGWIS because of insufficient staff, creating a backlog of 10 to 20 years, depending on the county. In 2005, skeletal data (owner name, well address, county, municipality, driller, and date drilled) for this backlog of about 152,000 records were entered into PaGWIS.  No coordinates were entered for these records. Therefore, they will not be listed in the results of either radial or polygonal searches. You must search by county, municipality, driller, or date drilled to locate these records. Because these well records do not have all their data included from the paper forms, we have provided in the search results links to the images of the paper records submitted to the Survey. Upon selection, these links open in a new window where the original well record can viewed and printed.

After 2005, paper records continued to be submitted until electronic submittal by WebDriller became mandatory on June 1, 2009. Starting in 2009, drillers have used an online application called WebDriller to enter well records electronically. With WebDriller, data are transferred automatically into PaGWIS within 30 days after drillers "print for owner."  These digital records have coordinates so that these reports will be included in the results of radial or polygonal searches. There are no images linked to these digital records.

From October 2014 to May 2015, about 55,000 paper records were entered into PaGWIS through a data preservation grant from the U.S. Geological Survey. Skeletal data (owner name, county, municipality, driller, and date drilled) were included for paper records submitted between 2005 and May 2015. Locations for 6,550 of these records were determined using internal applications and Internet information tools. As resources are available, any recently received paper records will be added to PaGWIS, and locations will be added. New records added through WebDriller include location coordinates, which are systematically checked for major errors when entered in WebDriller by drillers.

It's been estimated that Pennsylvania has over a million domestic water wells, plus an unknown number of monitoring and other types of water wells. Yet, there are only about 500,000 records in PaGWIS. Over the years, many water well completion reports have not been submitted.

The following are recommended citations for the online database and Access download of PaGWIS:

Pennsylvania Geological Survey, [insert current year], Pennsylvania groundwater information system (PaGWIS): Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 4th ser., SQL database ([download date and time]), Use current date and time; UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) recommended.

Pennsylvania Geological Survey, [insert current year], Pennsylvania groundwater information system (PaGWIS): Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 4th ser., Microsoft Access database ([download date and time]), Use current date and time; UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) recommended.


For more information, please contact Stuart Reese, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, at 717-702-2028.