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Nevada Well User’s Guide

Know Your Well

The Office of the State Engineer was created in 1903 to protect existing water rights and to improve methods for using Nevada’s valuable water resources. The State Engineer is responsible for administering and enforcing Nevada water law, which includes the appropriation and adjudication of groundwater in the state.

Important facts for well users

    • The permitted use of water from a quasi-municipal well (a well serving two or more homes) is based on an average of 1,000 gallons per day per home, not to exceed 365,000 gallons per year per home. Such wells also are known as public supply wells or community wells.
    • Use of water from a domestic well (a well serving a single home) shall not exceed 1,800 gallons per day.
    • All quasi-municipal wells are required to have a meter, and accurate readings must be kept of all water pumped from the well.
    • A domestic well is one that serves a single home without a water right permit. Domestic well water usage may not exceed 1,800 gallons per day
    • Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 534.130 grants water-resource agencies access to private property to carry out their duties during reasonable hours of the day.
    • Under NRS 197.090, any person whom by means of any threat, force or violence, attempts to prevent an administrative officer from performing a duty imposed on him by law is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

How to read your water meter

      1. Locate your well meter.
      2. If necessary, remove the meter box lid with a screwdriver or appropriate tool.
      3. Lift the cap covering the meter lens and face the meter so that the “0” on the outer dial is at the top (see Figure 1).
      4. Locate the number bar on the face of the meter (see Figure 2). Write down the number as it appears from left to right. Note that the zero or zeroes on the far right do not move.
      5. After obtaining your reading, close the meter cap to prevent damage to the lens and replace the meter box lid if necessary.
LVVGMP-well-meter2

Figure 1

Figure 2

Who must have a water meter?
All wells serving two or more homes must have a meter installed and maintained in the discharge pipeline near the point of diversion. Accurate readings must be kept of water placed to beneficial use.

Who is responsible for the purchase and installation of the meter on my well?
Since a meter is required under the terms and conditions of your permit, it is your responsibility as the permit holder to purchase and install the meter. Likewise, if your meter is broken or not operating properly, you also are responsible for its repair or replacement as the permit holder.

Where can I buy a water meter?
Most large plumbing-supply dealers carry totalizing meters, which you may install as the permit holder. A well-service company also can supply and install the meter for you. Call around, as prices vary.

Tips for safety, health and water conservation

Establish a wellhead protection area around your well with a minimum radius of 100 feet. Do not spill, store or dispose of animal wastes, fuels, pesticides, fertilizers or paints within that area.

Test your well water at least once a year for coliform bacteria and at least once every three years for the Routine Domestic Water Analysis. Call a certified private lab for details, or contact the Nevada State Health Laboratory at (702) 733-3700.

Check for broken water lines, which are one of the major causes of hidden leaks and wasted water from wells. Take extra care when searching for a broken line, due to the pressure and storage tanks installed as part of your well system.

Follow these tips to find a leak:

      • Turn off all water inside and outside your home
      • Write down your meter reading
      • Leave all water turned off overnight or for at least eight hours
      • Recheck your meter reading. If the reading has changed, you may have a hidden leak.

Frequently asked questions

Who is responsible for the purchase and installation of the meter on my well?
Since a meter is required under the terms and conditions of your permit, it is your responsibility as the permit holder to purchase and install the meter. Likewise, if your meter is broken or not operating properly, you also are responsible for its repair or replacement as the permit holder.

Where can I buy a water meter?
Most large plumbing-supply dealers carry totalizing meters, which you may install as the permit holder. A well-service company also can supply and install the meter for you. Call around, as prices vary.

Who must have a water meter?
All wells serving two or more homes must have a meter installed and maintained in the discharge pipeline near the point of diversion. Accurate readings must be kept of water placed to beneficial use.

Important phone numbers

Nevada Division of Water Resources

Carson City Office Southern Nevada office
(702) 684-2800 (702) 486-2770

For additional information, visit the Division of Water Resources..