NEW WELL PERMITTING PROCEDURES IMPLEMENTING REQUIREMENTS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDERS N-7-22 and N-3-23
On March 28, 2022 and February 13, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Orders N-7-22 and N-3-23 (“Executive Orders”) respectively, in response to extreme and expanding drought conditions which effective immediately prohibit Valley Water and other well permitting agencies from issuing a construction permit for a new groundwater well or for alteration of an existing groundwater well unless certain requirements are met or the permit falls within the limited exception to the requirements. Please use the links below to view the Executive Orders (Executive Order N-3-23 updates the language of Paragraph 9(b) of Executive Order N-7-22):
Executive Order N-7-22 can be viewed here: Executive Order N-7-22.pdf (see Paragraph 9)
Executive Order N-3-23 can be viewed here: EO N-3-23 Update\Executive Order N-3-23.pdf (see Paragraph 4(a) and 4(b))
What does this mean for well permitting applicants?
Well Construction Permit and Well Reconstruction Permit applications will have additional questions intended to determine whether the proposed construction or reconstruction activities are exempted from the provisions of the Executive Order.
Well Construction Permit and Well Reconstruction Permit applications not exempted from the provisions of the Executive Order will need to be accompanied by a hydrogeologic assessment signed by a California State-certified Hydrogeologist (CHG) to demonstrate that the operation of the new or reconstructed well will not adversely affect neighboring wells or result in land subsidence.
Frequently asked questions regarding Executive Order N-7-22 can be found HERE.
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 Sept. 1, 2017. 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.
Fees may be paid by check (made out to Santa Clara Valley Water District), cash (only if payment made in person to a district cashier) or by credit card.
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.
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
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 bottom 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.
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 HERE.
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.
Complete the Well Permit Fee Calculation Form (MS Word) and attach it to your permit application packet.
Attach the required insurance information (see above).
Attach the Well Inventory Form, if you are submitting a Water Well Construction Permit Application for a water supply well (see above).
If paying by check: mail, overnight, or walk in the completed permit application packet (permit application(s), Well Permit Fee Calculation Form, and check) to:
For USPS (regular or express/priority):
Santa Clara Valley Water District
5750 Almaden Expressway
San Jose, CA 95118-3614
For FedEx, UPS, others:
Santa Clara Valley Water District
5905 Winfield Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95123-2428
6850-10 Santa Teresa Blvd., Suite 100
San Jose, CA 95119
If you would like to email the completed permit application packet (permit application(s), Well Permit Fee Calculation Form, and proof of payment), send the documents to [email protected]. Be sure to include proof of payment by following the instructions for paying by credit card.
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.
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.
|Summary of Well Standards
|Vapor Probe Permitting Requirements
|Well Permit Fee Calculator (Word)
|Well Construction Permit Application
|Well Construction Permit Application (Word)
|Well Destruction Permit Application
|Well Destruction Permit Application (Word)
|Exploratory Boring Permit Application
|Exploratory Boring Permit Application (Word)
|Well Reactivation Notice
|Well Reactivation Notice (Word)
|Well Reconstruction Permit Application
|Well Reconstruction Permit Application (Word)
|Well Standby Permit Application
|Well Standby Permit Application (Word)