Well Data Policy and Procedures
The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) conducts research and service programs about geologic issues within the state of Illinois. A core element of the Survey's mission is to provide information on the geology and mineral resources of the state. The ISGS publishes and distributes information in a variety of conventional ways and increasingly via computing technology. The ISGS began using computer technology to develop well databases in support of research in the 1960s. The Internet has now made it possible for direct, on-line access to the ISGS database being maintained actively by our staff.
The ISGS has a statutory mandate (225 ILCS 730/3; Illinois Well Abandonment Act) to collect drilling records and make them available for use by the public. The Survey's Geological Records Unit (GRU) includes records from Oil and Gas wells, water wells, engineering test borings and other miscellaneous test holes. These records are an essential primary data resource that is used by industry, local, state and federal agencies, Survey staff scientists, university researchers and others.
ISGS databases contain records of more than 700,000 wells drilled throughout Illinois. This includes about 300,000 water wells and 170,000 oil and gas related wells.
Information contained in the water well database is submitted by water well contractors (well drillers). The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) processes well permits and construction logs and provides the construction logs to the ISGS. The ISGS water well database contains the subsurface information reported, commonly referred to as the driller's log. Access to the information in the driller's log is a featured part of the water well Web application.
Information contained in the oil and gas well database is submitted by permitting offices in Springfield, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, drilling operators, and scouting companies.
Information from ISGS well records is used by the public, well drillers, students, teachers, geologists and engineers from both the public and private sector, environmental scientists from many governmental agencies, among others. The paper records can be viewed at the ISGS Geological Records Unit located at 1816 South Oak St., Champaign, IL 61820. Such data are required for study of the distribution and thickness of glacial deposits such as sand and gravel in the subsurface. Geologists typically use these data when constructing geologic maps. Water well records can be used to address issues such as groundwater availability, aquifer sensitivity, and mineral resource potential.