Wells FAQ
When is a well permit required?
A Permit is required to construct, repair or destroy a water, monitoring or cathodic protection well or soil boring. A soil boring is any uncased artificial excavation constructed by drill, auger, perforator, or other drilling or probing equipment for the purpose of obtaining information on subsurface conditions or determining the presence or extent of contamination in subsurface soils or groundwater. Soil borings exempt from this requirement are 1) soil borings less than ten feet in depth constructed for the sole purpose of determining the suitability or design of an on-site sewage disposal system; and 2) soil borings that are less than fifteen feet in depth and do not encounter any water below ground. Soil borings associated with Local Oversight Program locations covered by the State Revolving Fund must obtain a permit but are exempted from fee requirements.
What is the process for obtaining a well permit?
A completed application shall be submitted to the Solano County Department of Environmental Management, Environmental Health Division. The permit application shall include the following:

A. Applicant's name, address, and current phone number.

B. Drilling contractor?s name. A statement that the contractor performing the work is licensed under the provisions of Chapter 9 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code as a well-drilling contractor possessing a C-57 Water Contractor's License, and such license is in full force and effect; the number of such license; and a valid workers' compensation certificate of insurance. In those situations where a well-drilling contractor does not have employees, he or she may sign a workers' compensation waiver in lieu of a certificate of insurance.

C. Consultant (if any) name, address, and telephone number.

D. Estimated or proposed depth of the well or boring, sealing material and method used to seal.

E. Location of the property and well site, including street address and/or Assessor's Parcel Number and the legal owner of the property.

F. A plot plan indicating the location of the well/borings. For wells the following information is also required:

  1. property lines;
  2. sewage disposal systems or works carrying or containing sewage or industrial wastes within a 200-foot radius of the proposed well;
  3. all perennial, seasonal, natural, or artificial water bodies or water courses, including location of 100-year flood plain, if applicable;
  4. drainage pattern of the property;
  5. existing wells within a 100-foot radius of the proposed well;
  6. access roads and easements (water, sewer, utility, roadway);
  7. existing and/or proposed structures;
  8. animal or fowl enclosures, pens, paddocks, stockyards within a 100-foot radius of proposed well site;
  9. underground storage tanks containing hazardous substances.

G. The permit fee.

An Environmental Health Specialist shall review the permit application. If the application is complete and is in compliance with the California Well Standards and Chapter 13.10 of the Solano County Code, then a permit shall be issued.
Who can construct, destroy, or repair a well?
Wells shall be constructed, destroyed, or repaired by a licensed contractor with a valid Class "C-57" license. Contractors with a Class "D-21" license are limited to installing, removing, modifying, or repairing pumps.
How do I determine if my well water is potable?
The bacteriological quality of domestic quality of domestic water is determined by testing for coliform bacteria. Coliform organisms are indicators of surface contamination that may originate from human, animal, or other sources. Drinking water that does not meet bacteriological standards may not necessarily result in illness but that possibility exists. Wells testing positive for coliform bacteria should be properly disinfected.
Does the county test well water?
Yes. The county public health laboratory has the capability of testing water for bacteriological agents. The property owner or the division may collect the water sample.

The county lab does not test for radioactivity, organic or inorganic chemicals. Solano County does not provide well inspections for lender verification in sale of property transactions. Please contact a licensed well driller or other qualified professional for this inspection.
What is the procedure for disinfecting a well?

  1. Pump the well until the water is clear, being sure to flush out all distribution piping.
  2. After the water flowing from the well looks clear, shut off the pump.
  3. Introduce household bleach (Clorox, Purex, White Magic,. Sanichlor, Vano, etc.) into the well casing through the inspection port. Do not use swimming pool chlorine tablets as these are concentrated and may contain other chemicals.
  4. Do not run the pump for the next thirty (30) minutes.
  5. Pump well again until you can smell the bleaching agent at the end of all distribution lines (taps, faucets and hydrants).
  6. Close all distribution lines. Do not operate the pump for twenty-four (24) hours.
  7. After the 24-hour period, open all outside distribution lines, start the pump and operate until all the chlorine odor is gone. Close all distribution lines. Operate interior lines until chlorine odor has diminished. Test the well water for total coliform.