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Well Permits & Inspections

Well permitting requirements
No person shall dig, bore, drill, deepen, modify, repair or destroy a water well, cathodic protection well, observation well, monitoring well, geothermal heat exchange well, exploratory boring (45 feet or deeper), or other deep excavation that intersects the groundwater aquifers of Santa Clara County without first obtaining a permit from the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Well permit fees
Please note that the well permit fee schedule has been updated
. The current well permit fee schedule [PDF] is effective July 1, 2013. Well permit fees must be received by the district with your permit application submittal. Failure to submit the appropriate well permit fees with your well permit application will result in permit processing delays.

Well permitting process
Important: You must allow 10 working days to process well permit applications. Do not schedule well drilling activities within this 10-day window

  1. Obtain a well permit application by calling the district's Well Ordinance Program Hotline at (408) 630-2660, or download the appropriate application from the list at right side of this page. Be sure to provide complete and correct information. Incorrect or incomplete information will result in delays in the permitting process and in your drilling schedule.
  2. Completely fill out the appropriate well permit application.
    • Be sure to provide complete and correct information. Incorrect or incomplete information will result in delays in the permitting process and in your drilling schedule.
    • Be sure the property ownership information is correct. To confirm the property owner information, call the Santa Clara County Assessor's Office at (408) 299-5500 or access the Assessor’s information on-line at: http://services.sccgov.org/ari/home.do.
    • If you are applying for a well destruction permit, be sure that you include the State well number and owner's well number, and the original well construction permit number. 
  3. Complete the Well Permit Fee Calculation Form (MS Word) and attach it to your permit application packet.
  4. Mail or overnight the completed permit application packet (permit application/s, Well Permit Fee Calculation Form, and check or money order) to:

For USPS (regular or express/priority):
Well Permits
Santa Clara Valley Water District
5750 Almaden Expressway
San Jose, CA 95118-3614

For FedEx, UPS, others:
Well Permits
Santa Clara Valley Water District
5905 Winfield Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95123-2428

Well permit extensions
Pursuant to Santa Clara Valley Water District (District) Ordinance 90-1, work authorized by District Well Construction, Destruction, Reconstruction, and Exploratory Boring Permits (well permit) must begin within 180 calendar days from the date of the well permit issuance.

A well permit may be extended one time only, for an additional 180 calendar days, without paying additional well permit fees. Requests for well permit extensions must be made in writing and must be received by the District prior to the permit’s original expiration date. Unused permits that have not been extended will automatically be voided on the permit expiration date.

Once a permit has been voided, any planned work associated with the voided permit must be completed under a new permit, i.e. a new permit application will need to be submitted to the District with the associated permit fees.

To request a permit extension, please send an email or letter to the District’s Well Ordinance Program at:

wellpermits@valleywater.org or,
Santa Clara Valley Water District - Well Ordinance Program
5750 Almaden Expressway
San Jose, CA 95118-3614

Well Standards
The district regulates the construction and destruction of wells based on the district’s "Standards for the Construction and Destruction of Wells and Other Deep Excavations in Santa Clara County" and the “California Well Standards.” A condensed version of these standards is presented in the Summary of Well Standards [PDF]. If your planned work does not meet the minimum requirements of the well standards, you must contact the Well Ordinance Program Hotline (408- 630-2660) prior to initiation of permitted activity, to request a variance.

Well inspection requirements
You are required have an authorized district well inspector on site to make an inspection of the annular seal placement upon construction or reconstruction of a well and of the grouting of wells to be destroyed. The district may also make an initial inspection of each proposed work site, an inspection at the completion of the work, and inspections at such other times as it deems appropriate.

Well inspection scheduling
Upon receipt of a valid district well permit, you may schedule a well inspection. To schedule a well inspection call the district's Well Ordinance Program Hotline at (408) 630-2660. You must call to be added to our daily schedule at least 24 hours before you pour the annular seal or grout an exploratory boring or well to be destroyed.

On the day of the inspection, call the Well Ordinance Program Hotline (408) 630-2660, at least two hours before you pour a well seal.