Well Program (Construction, Destruction, and Maintenance)

The purpose of this program is to regulate and permit the construction and installation of community water supply wells, individual domestic wells, irrigation wells, industrial wells, agricultural wells, cathodic protection wells, electrical grounding wells, test and exploratory holes, observation wells and salt water (hydraulic) barrier wells.


On March 28, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-7-22 (“Executive Order”) in response to extreme and expanding drought conditions which effective immediately and until lifted prohibits San Luis Obispo County Environmental Health Services (“EHS”) from issuing a construction permit for a new groundwater well or for alteration of an existing groundwater well pursuant to Chapter 8.40 of the San Luis Obispo County Code unless certain requirements are met or the permit falls within the limited exception to the requirements. 




Water Well Construction Permitting Changes required while the order is in effect:

1. Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA’s) in median and high priority basins must provide verification that a proposed well would not be inconsistent with their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) and its sustainability goals.

  • We will establish a referral process for this

2. All non-exempt well permit applications, regardless of where they are located, need a determination that the proposed well will not interfere with nearby wells, or cause subsidence that could damage nearby infrastructure.

  • We will require a report, certified by a licensed California Professional Geologist, to be submitted with the well construction application.

3. Wells that are exempt from the Governor’s Executive Order include:

  •  Domestic wells with less than 2-acre ft/yr. usage, and
  •  Public Water System wells
  •  Well replacing existing well due to Eminent Domain


Please see the well permit application updated March 10, 2023.

We will require a self-certification for well owners to sign for these wells to certify they meet the exemption before an application is approved.


Private Well Owner Resources 

Access guidance documents intended to assist private well owners in San Luis Obispo County with routine maintenance of well systems and to help make sure well water is safe to use.

Well Drillers' Resources 

Access map tools, guidance documents/resources that assist the well driller through the well permit application process. 

Water Well Data

Access map tools to search for County of San Luis Obispo County water well construction permit data. 

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