Water drilling licences

Water drilling licence class 1

This class is restricted to drilling operations in single non-flowing aquifer systems.

Single aquifer systems must be protected primarily from surface pollution.

The skills involved in this drilling method are moderate, as surface pollution is easily prevented.

How to get a class 1 drilling licence

There are three ways that you can be given a class 1 drilling licence:

  1. You have completed an approved course and have been employed as a driller or driller's assistant for at least six months.
  2. You have been employed as a driller for at least 12 months and you have completed at least six class 1 bores under supervision - you also need to pass the appropriate drilling licence examination.
  3. You have been issued with a class 1 drilling licence to carry out bore construction work in another Australian state or territory and the Department of Land Resource Management is satisfied that your qualifications and experience are equal to those needed for a drilling licence in the Northern Territory.

Skills, experience and knowledge needed

You must have skills and knowledge of all the following for a class 1 water drilling licence:

  • minimum construction requirements for water bores set by the National Uniform Driller Licensing Committee
  • legislation and regulations for groundwater and drilling and understand bore construction permit and drilling licence conditions
  • knowing potential contamination sources for water bores and siting a bore to protect it
  • straightness and plumbness of the hole - setting up a rig, the causes of bent bores and the methods of hold straightening
  • drilling - choose and use equipment and recognise factors such as rotational speed and proper annular velocities
  • fishing - tools string records, fishing tools and procedures
  • formation sampling and description - get representative formation samples and labelling and describing them
  • bore design - design and construction of bores for domestic use, stock watering, groundwater monitoring and irrigation purposes in single aquifer systems
  • construction - seating and sealing of casing, casing types, their limitations and uses, methods of grouting casing, headworks design and completion of the bore site
  • grouting - grouting surface casing and decommissioning bores or test holes
  • setting screens and gravel packs - choosing the right slot size, screen length and diameter and procedures for screen installation, and selecting and installing a gravel pack
  • disinfection procedures - basic knowledge of disinfection procedures and safe chemical disposal
  • aquifer testing and water sampling - carrying out a single stage pumping test, then working out static water level, drawdown and yield, taking and labelling a water sample
  • decommissioning - design and select appropriate materials for the decommissioning of bores in single aquifer systems
  • statement of bore completion reports filled out correctly and legibly within 28 days of works finished.

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Last updated: 11 May 2021

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