Private Residential Wells

Nevada County Environmental Health Department regulates the construction, modification, and destruction of water wells throughout the County in order to protect its groundwater resources. Water Wells are commonly used as the only potable water supply in Nevada County.

Image of a capped well head hooked up to a blue pressure tank and electrical panel

Well Permit Applications can only be applied for by a licensed California Well Driller. This can be done online through our Accela Online Citizen Access Portal. Please contact a Licensed California Well Driller if you plan on drilling a well. 

Well permits expire one year after the permit issuance date.

Required Tests for Wells servicing New Residences

The Environmental Health Department requires the following well testing to be done prior to being hooked up to new residences:

Well Yield Test 

A well yield test is a four-hour pump test to determine if the well can produce at least 3 gallons/minute sustained production rateThe well ordinance can grant approval for a Certificate of Occupancy for well production as low as 1 gallon/minute with a required minimum 1000 gallon holding tank.

Raw Water Certification 

The Nevada County Well Ordinance states that analysis for contaminants shall be conducted to demonstrate that the water supply meets potability standards as set forth in the California Safe Drinking Water Act for all wells drilled prior to July 12, 1991. Please be advised that a water sample and visual inspection of the well are required prior to property owners obtaining final occupancy. The water sample must be free from bacteria (Total Coliform and Fecal Coliform) and analyzed by a state-accredited laboratory. Where the Department deems necessary, analysis for additional contaminants may be required to demonstrate that the water supply meets standards.

In order to obtain a Raw Water Certification, you must submit the appropriate fees and schedule the service using a qualified professional such as a licensed and trained well service provider, Registered Environmental Health Specialist who has been trained in water sampling and well construction, a Certified Drinking Water Operator or their designated Courier who is currently employed with a company that provides certified drinking water operator services. Water shall be sampled at the wellhead, if possible, and delivered to the laboratory under a chain of custody. 

Wellhead Inspection Requirements

The wellhead inspection shall be completed by a qualified professional such as a licensed and trained well service provider, Registered Environmental Health Specialist who has been trained in water sampling and well construction, a Certified Drinking Water Operator or their designated Courier who is currently employed with a company that provides certified drinking water operator services and must include a signed and dated report noting the condition of the wellhead including but not limited to: the presence of cracks or other damage, missing caps or screens, a diagram showing the location of the well and other observations such as flooded areas, animal enclosures (within 100 feet excluding pasturage), rodent activity, hazardous materials near the wellhead.

          Well Inspection Report Template

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IMPORTANT: For final clearance, submit the lab results together with the chain of custody and a copy of the wellhead inspection to Nevada County Environmental Health Department, 950 Maidu Ave, Ste 170 Nevada City, Ca 95946


  1. Existing Wells

Please view our FAQ page for more information. 

Fees

Residential Well Permit$592.05
Well Permit Renewal$146.79
Well Reconstruction
No Inspection
$200.61
Well Reconstruction
With Inspection
$396.33
Well Destruction$494.19
Raw Water Certification$494.19