Water Wells

Protecting the quality of ground water in Santa Cruz County is a priority. Proper construction of new wells and proper reconstruction or abandonment of existing wells is critical. A Santa Cruz County Environmental Health Permit for construction, reconstruction or destruction of a well is required throughout the county.

To construct or abandon a well, you must first contact a well driller with a State Contractor C-57 license to prepare your application for submittal. Environmental Health (EH) maintains a list of qualified well drillers that operate in Santa Cruz County.

Water Wells include:

  • Drinking water wells – These include individual domestic wells (serving 1-4 parcels) and public wells (serving 5 or more parcels). Drinking water wells serving 1-4 parcels and constructed after 1989 are required to be permitted by the county as an Individual Water System. Public wells (serving 5 or more parcels and less than 199 parcels) are required to obtain a county permit as a State Small Water System (5-14 connections) or a Small Water System Permit (15-199 connections). Well owners seeking assistance or information about their well should look at the County's Drought Preparedness page.
  • Agriculture wells – These wells are used for agriculture purposes only and not for drinking. Along with the application for a permit, an Agricultural Water Conservation Questionnaire must be completed.
  • Irrigation wells – These wells are used in non-agricultural irrigation activities and not for drinking. Along with the application for a permit, a Non-Agricultural Water Conservation Questionnaire and a Well Application Supplemental Information Sheet must be completed.

For Cannabis Operations, a Cannabis version of the Agricultural Questionnaire must be completed and provided along with the Well Permit Application.

To schedule an in-person or online appointment, use our appointment scheduler: