Heat pumps and geothermal probes; notification of boreholes for construction

Boreholes for the installation of geothermal probe systems and groundwater heat pumps must be notified to the responsible district administrative authority in order to protect the soil and groundwater against contamination.


In order to inform builders, planners, specialist tradesmen and drilling companies about geothermal probes and to show the way to the proper construction of a system, the Ministries for the Environment and Consumer Protection and for Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, together with the Bundesverband WärmePumpe (BWP) e. V., have published a guide for the construction of geothermal probes for heat pump systems. In addition to basic statements on the assessment of water law, it provides information and recommendations on what must be observed in the construction and operation of a borehole heat exchanger system and provides information on the necessary application documents.

The guide has been updated due to technical developments and legal changes and has been reissued in a 4th edition. It can be downloaded from the Internet (see "Further links").

Boreholes for the installation of geothermal probe systems must be notified to the responsible district administration authority to protect the soil and groundwater against contamination.
If the boreholes for the geothermal probes extend into the groundwater, a permit under water law is usually required.


Work which penetrates so deeply into the ground that it may have a direct or indirect effect on the movement, level or quality of the groundwater shall be notified to the competent authority one month before commencement of the work.

If one month has elapsed since the notification and no cessation or removal order has been issued in accordance with Section 49 (3) WHG, the work may be commenced and carried out until the groundwater is affected.


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz

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