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Database Search Help

Note: Most users will find searching by township, range, and section is the best option.

Available search options include:

A user search can also be further qualified by selecting

Users who download data will receive two files (wells.txt and litho.txt) that are compressed for data transfer. Both files are tab-delimited format capable of being imported to a variety of programs. Click below for information about importing tab-delimited well data to Microsoft Excel and Access.

  • Help on Importing Tab-Delimited Well Record Data

* Township, range, and section can be determined from a variety of sources. Three excellent sources are property tax statements, property deeds, and county plat books. Other sources include USGS topograpic maps, county courthouses, local libraries, and university libraries.

Definitions for Database Search Help

Water Wells:

There are two types of water well data that are posted on this viewer: data for water wells having locations that are known and those with locations that are estimated. Water wells with known locations have been 'field verified' and assigned UTM coordinates by Division of Water personnel. The verified wells are represented as either a red dot or a blue dot which identifies the type aquifer system in which the well was completed. A red dot indicates a bedrock well and blue indicates an unconsolidated (sand and/or gravel) well.

Wells having an estimated location are shown with a green dot. The location is estimated and UTM coordinates are assigned based on information provided by drillers and are not 'field verified'. The UTM coordinates are assigned based on the accuracy of quarter sections that Division of Water personnel are able to define. Wells having the most reliable location are assigned a coordinate based on the center of a third quarter section. Wells with the least reliable location are assigned a quarter section assigned based on the center of a section (see description of Township/Range/Section).

Well Reference Number

The well reference number is a unique identification number assigned to each well record in the database. No two well records will have the same number. If you have a specific well reference number you can very quickly access the well record.

Township/Range/Section (Twp/Rng/Sec)

Sections of land in Indiana are referenced according to the Township, Range, and Section System (otherwise known as the Congressional Land Survey System). Township, range, and section numbers are assigned to each well record received. The original paper records are then filed according to this system.

Each Congressional township is divided into 36 sections of land with each section approximately one square mile (see map 1). Each township is described as a number of rows or tiers north or south of a baseline (see map 2). A range is referenced according to a number east or west of a principal meridian (see map 2). In Indiana there are 38 townships north and 9 townships south of the defined baseline and 15 ranges east and 15 ranges west of the second principal meridian.

There are some areas, however, where the Congressional Land Survey System was not used (see map 2). Two examples are areas in Knox (see map 3) and Clark counties. In such areas township and range lines have been projected and the special grant, donation, or reserve number was recorded as if it were a section number.

Topographic Quadrangle (Topo Map)

Topographic Quadrangles are maps produced by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that represent a plan view of the earth's surface at a scale of 1:24,000 (1 inch = 2000 feet). Features like surface topography, streams, lakes, roads and buildings are shown on these maps. There are approximately 710 topographic quadrangle maps (each about 7 miles by 9 miles) that cover Indiana. All water well records in the Division of Water database are assigned a topographic quadrangle map for locating purposes.

  • List of Topographical Quadrangles
  • Information on IDNR Map Sales


There are 92 counties located in Indiana. Each water well record in the database is assigned the county it was drilled in.

UTM Coordinates and UTM ONLY

Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) is a grid system originally developed for military use by the Defense Mapping Agency. The earth's surface is divided into 60 north-south zones each covering a strip 6 degrees wide in longitude. The northing (utm-y) coordinates are measured in meters north of the Equator and the easting (utm-x) coordinates are measured relative to a central meridian within the zone. Indiana is within Zone 16, which falls within longitude 84 degrees west and longitude 90 degrees west. The Water Rights and Use Section assigns UTM coordinates (NAD 27) to every well record that is located. For more information on the UTM Grid System, go to USGS.

UTM coordinates can be used for search purposes in two ways. One way involves defining a boxed area through UTM maximum and minimum northing and easting values. The resulting data that will be returned will only include those records with UTM values assigned that fall within the defined area.

The second way involves qualifying a search (in conjunction with other search parameters) by UTM ONLY. Records returned will include only those with UTM coordinates assigned. For example, a township, range, and section search, qualified by UTM ONLY, will return only records with UTM coordinates assigned that fall within the previously defined township, range, and section(s).

Test Rate

Indiana Code 14-25-7-15 defines a "significant water withdrawal facility" as a facility having a combined capacity of withdrawing 100,000 gallons per day (about 70 gallons per minute (GPM)) or greater. Some database users find it helpful to search for high capacity wells based on the reported well test rate. Selecting this feature will only return records showing test rates of 70 GPM or greater as reported by the well driller. The actual capacity of the installed pump may be greater or less than the reported test rate.

Date Completed

One of the data fields available on water well records is well completion date. This information is provided by the driller. The Date Completed search option can allow a user to narrow search parameters to within a specified date range. The user should recognize that a search qualified by a date range will only return records that have data in this field


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