About Us

The groundwater industry in Ontario had its beginnings with the early settlers. Everyone needs water to live and proximities to lakes, rivers and streams left some in hardship unless they were able to access ground water.  After the WW II, the province began to study water wells. Archie Watt wrote the first Ground Water Report for the province of Ontario in 1947 and the initial Water Well Drillers Act.  He developed Ontario's first water well record form. As a result, the Ontario Ground Water Association was created in 1952 as a not-for-profit organization to facilitate the various sectors of the ground water industry coming together for the delivery of safe and clean water supplies throughout the Province. 

The OGWA has a long history of working cooperatively and supportively with the province. The Ontario Water Resources Commission (OWRC) was formed in 1956. Archie Watt joined the OWRC as the Director of the Water Resources Division in 1957 and had the lead in developing regulations, policies, and guidelines. These combined efforts have secured safe and abundant ground water supplies throughout Ontario. 

Who we are

The Ontario Ground Water Association is a not for profit association consisting of professional members who are involved in the ground water industry in Ontario. They include -- Well Drillers, Environmental/Geotechnical Drillers, Pump Installers, Manufacturers and Suppliers, as well as Scientists and Engineers.  Included are the company owners as well as their employees.

All OGWA Contractor Members: must be licenced by the Province and represent companies that drill and repair water wells and the water systems for homes, farms, businesses, factories, and cities throughout Ontario. Drilling Contractors must hold a valid Ministry issued Contractors Licence as well as maintain specific insurance.  The insurance requirements are specific and tailored to the industry. Contractors are also required to maintain staffing standards. Their employees must be the holders of licences for the activities they perform such as Class1 Drilling, Class 2 for Boring or digging and Class 4 for Pump Installation, to name the main three.

Environmental and Geotechnical Drillers: These members are involved in hydrogeological studies installing monitoring wells or geotechnical boreholes. These members may have a Class 1 or Class 3 license.

Pump Installers: The Class 4 licence holders design, size appropriately, install and repair pumping systems to pump water from the water wells automatically. Pump installers often conduct a yield tests and can make minor alterations to a well to accommodate pumping equipment. Often pump installers also install and service water treatment equipment although their Class 4 license pertains to pump installation.

Manufacturers and Suppliers: The members of this division represent companies that make, distribute pumps, drilling machines, tools, pipe, tanks, controls, and many other products to and for the ground water industry. These companies do not generally sell to the public. The manufacturers are the actual makers of the materials that suppliers distribute.  These are materials used in and for the ground water industry.

Groundwater Scientists and Engineers: This division consists of persons or companies representing geologists, hydrogeologists, engineers, regulators, and consultants all of whom work on scientific matters relating to ground water. Some of these do actual field drilling or monitoring well installation and other work involving, among other things, hydrogeological studies, and the movement of ground water. Members of this division may have a Class 3 or Class 5 licenses or may be licensed through the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario or Professional Engineers of Ontario.

All members have proclaimed their willingness to abide by the OGWA Code of Ethics and Conduct in their business dealings.

About our Members

All trades members of the Ontario Ground Water Association are fully licenced and insured under the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) Regulation 903.  It is illegal to work on and seek remuneration for working on water wells or pumping systems for water wells in the Province of Ontario without a Well Contractors Licence for the company and Well Technicians Licence for the individual.


Approximately 3 million people in Ontario rely on ground water as their primary source of potable water.

Ground water is often the only source of clean water for drinking, farming, and manufacturing. A number of municipalities use ground water as the major source of their citizens' water supply. The OGWA facilitates various sectors of the ground water industry coming together for delivery of safe, clean water supplies throughout the province.