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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.

Insurance Requirements 
Before the District will issue a well permit, the contractors listed on the permit application must provide insurance certificates to the District.  The insurance information must meet the criteria described here: Well Permit Insurance Requirements.

Well Inventory 
Any well construction permit for a water supply well must be submitted with a completed Well Inventory Form.  All existing water supply wells that are located on the property associated with the permit application must be included on the form.

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:
    • 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. Attach the required insurance information (see above).
  5. Attach the Well Inventory Form, if you are submitting a Water Well Construction Permit Application for a water supply well (see above).
  6. 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 permits are valid for one year from date of issuance 
Work authorized by District Well Construction, Destruction, Reconstruction, and Exploratory Boring Permits (well permits) must begin within one year from the date of the well permit issuance.  Permits will be voided if unused within one year.

Once a permit has been voided, any planned work associated with the voided permit must be completed under a new permit.  In other words, a new permit application must be submitted to the District with the associated permit fees.

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.