Our Location: 1221 Fulton Street, 3rd Floor
PO Box 11867, Fresno CA 93775-1867
Phone: (559) 600-3357
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
(Closed 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)
Notice - Well drillers need to know this:
Beginning Wednesday, September 8, 2021, Well Permit Applications will only be accepted via our Citizen Portal.
This process will allow you to enter permit application information directly into our system. This will help speed up our processing time for each permit application and allow you to see the progress of all your permits in real-time.
❶ SET UP YOUR ACCOUNT: You can get help for setting up your account on the portal by watching this video here. Well Drillers should set up their account as an organization, not as an individual.
❷ ENTER WELL PERMIT APPLICATIONS ON PORTAL: Please see the following step-by-step instructions for entering well permit applications on the portal. You can begin using the portal now.
Entering a Well Permit Instructions(PDF, 1MB)
❸ INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO: On Wednesday, September 1, Environmental Health staff held an instructional meeting with interested well drillers on how to use the Citizen Portal to enter, apply, and track their Well Permits. Here is a link to view that meeting.
Well Driller Meeting
On this page you will find:
Well Permitting Information
The Environmental Health Division issues permits to construct new wells, reconstruct, repair or deepen existing wells and destroy abandoned wells to properly licensed well drilling contractors in unincorporated Fresno County. For well issues within any of the incorporated cities in the County, please contact the city in question directly.
Fresno County Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Division enforces the provisions of the:
- California Well Standards Ordinance and the construction standards set forth in the California Well Standards, Bulletins 74-81 and 74-90.
- Fresno County Ordinance Code, Title 14, primarily Chapters 14.04 and 14.08
- Fresno County General Plan Policy PF-C, specifically PF-C.19 and PF-C.20
Only persons who possess an active C-57 Well Contractors License may perform construction, reconstruction or destruction work on wells.
In order to obtain a permit to drill a well, properly licensed contractors shall submit a completed Well Permit Form in the Citizen Portal along with a plot plan, applicable permit fees, to this office. The application will be reviewed, and if found acceptable:
- the permit application will be approved
- approved permit will be emailed to the driller and then and only then,
- drilling may commence
The construction of a well may not commence until the driller has been issued a valid permit. The permit is valid for 180 days.
Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs): GSAs have been put in place to ensure our use of our critically overdrafted subbasins are sustainable by the year 2040 so they aren’t depleted. If a well is being drilled in a critically overdrafted subbasin, please consult with the proper GSA to determine if there are any limitations regarding the use of the well and if they have any other requirements. To determine which GSA you will need to contact, please see the Fresno County Public Works and Planning’s SGMA webpage and for more information. The sooner you contact the GSA for this information, the sooner they can get back to you with their requirements. You may want to consider sending the GSA the permit at the same time you submit it to our office.
It is important to note that the county and the GSAs have different roles. The county permits the installation of wells and the GSAs regulate the use of water wells in their jurisdiction. The county cannot enforce or negotiate any restrictions or requirements of a GSA. Each GSA is autonomous and will potentially have different requirements, from each other. Furthermore, since the GSAs may determine requirements on a case by case basis, requirements may vary within a single GSA depending on a variety of criteria.
Well permits for domestic public wells, industrial wells, commercial wells, some ag wells, and other wells may be given more time for review by GSAs.
Well permits for domestic private wells, some ag wells, cathodic wells, monitoring wells, and test holes will usually be processed normally.
Since permits will most likely be issued prior to you hearing from the GSAs, you may want to contact the GSA’s, so that the well owners know before drilling how they can and cannot use the well.
Well Driller GSA Meetings: Recordings of recent meetings with drillers explaining GSAs and how to help the county review well permits expeditiously are posted here:
| August 20, 2020
|| March 18, 2021
Annular Seals: The California Well Standards Ordinance requires contractors, as part of the well construction process, to install an annular seal of at least twenty (20) feet in depth (fifty  feet for public water system wells or industrial wells) to help protect the well from contamination.
The California Well Standards Ordinance also requires contractors to notify our office at least forty-eight(48) hours in advance of the scheduled time to install the annular seal so that Environmental Health staff can arrange to inspect the seal installation process (this 48 hour notice requirement is not being enforced during the 2021 drought, call our well program staff for more information). This inspection helps to ensure that the seal is installed in an approved manner to help prevent contamination of the well water.
Annular seal appointments may be scheduled by contacting the Well Permitting Program at (559) 600-3357.
Once the well construction, deepening, or destruction work is completed, the contractor is required to provide a Notice of Completion, also known as a Well Driller’s Report or Well Log, to our office within thirty (30) days of completion. The report shall document that the work was completed in accordance with the Well Standards Ordinance.
Pay Well Permit Fees
- By Phone: 1-888-567-6459
- Or, Online
- NOT ACCEPTING CASH PAYMENTS
Consumer Information for Property Owners
Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs): GSAs have been put in place to ensure our use of our critically overdrafted subbasins are sustainable by the year 2040 so they aren’t depleted. If your well is being drilled in a critically overdrafted subbasin, you must consult with the proper GSA to determine if there are any limitations regarding your use of your well and if they have other requirements. To determine which GSA you will need to contact, please see the Fresno County Public Works and Planning’s SGMA webpage for more information. The sooner you contact the GSA for this information, the sooner they can get back to you with their requirements.
Permit Required from Licensed Driller: Owners of property located in the unincorporated areas of Fresno County who are planning to have a well drilled on their property must contact a properly licensed driller to obtain a permit to drill a well from this office. Once approved, the permit will be issued to the well drilling contractor who will be performing the work. Please see the well permitting information to review what is required of the well drilling contractor. This office will inspect the placement of the sanitary seal to ensure it is of proper material and is at the required depth to ensure the safety.
Well Logs, Inspection, and Free Water Sampling (Domestic Private Wells): Once construction of the new well is completed, the contractor is required to provide a Notice of Completion, also known as a Well Driller’s Report or Well Log, to our office within thirty (30) days of completion. Once our office receives this document, we will contact the property owner by letter to schedule a Final Inspection of the new well. This inspection will help ensure that the well has been completed in an approved manner and there are no apparent direct openings into the well that may allow the entry of contamination into the water supply. During this inspection, Environmental Health staff will, if possible for domestic private wells, conduct sampling of the water in new or deepened domestic wells to determine if there are certain contaminants of health concern in your water. Please be advised that private wells are not required to meet any water quality standards. The sampling is conducted as a service to you to help protect your health and the integrity of our groundwater resource. The sampling is free of charge at this time.
Interpretation of Bacteriological or Chemical Analysis Reports
Have you had your private domestic water well sampled for bacteriological or chemical contamination? Click on the links for more information on bacteriological contamination and chemical contaminants commonly found within Fresno County.
Abandoned Well Information
A well is considered “abandoned” when it has not been used for a period of one year unless the owner demonstrates his intention to use the well again for supplying water. The California Well Standards Ordinance requires that all abandoned wells must be destroyed. If you have an abandoned well and are considering using the well again, please refer to the Requirements for Maintaining an Inactive Well(PDF, 22KB). If you do not plan to use the well again, please refer to the Well Destruction Requirements(PDF, 22KB).
Water and Water Wells in Emergencies or Disasters
If your water well has been damaged or compromised by a disaster, please see the following information. If the well requires reconstruction work, that work must be completed by a licensed C-57 contractor, the work done under a permit from this office and a building permit from the Department of Public Works and Planning, Building and Safety Team. If you need to drill a new well, see the well permitting section above. The following are informational documents for your use:
If your well is going dry or has gone dry, there may be some assistance to help you. Please see the attached flyers and links for you to learn more about these resources.
Self-Help Enterprises Emergency Services Program: Water Sustainability Resources
Additionally, please also see the following flyer for more information regarding a zero percent interest loan for those in the unincorporated area of Fresno County who meet minimum requirements:
Fresno County Community Development's Affordable Housing Program(PDF, 112KB)