Water Well Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I apply for a Water Well permit ?
A: Private water wells are required to be be applied for by a licensed Well Driller. Contact a licensed well driller, and they will do the rest. They will apply for the permit and are familiar with all of the required application elements.
Q: What does a water well look like ?
A: Private water wells have a certain structure once complete. A water well cross-section shows distinct features.
Q: How Do Pollutants get into a Water Well ?
A: Common Avenues of Entry for Pollutants into Wells
- Well located too close to pollution source (ie. septic tank)
- Entry beneath where pump base is attached or beneath the pump itself (base attached to raised platform(s).
- Airborne debris entering via the annular space (between the borehole wall and the well casing).
Q: How Does a well get contaminated ?
A: The well's defenses against contamination are its surface sanitary seal, annular seal, and well casing.
If the annular seal is too shallow, the casing ruptured, or the surface seal broken by holes or missing gaskets, contaminants can enter the well. If a well is located too close to a source of contaminants, these may enter through one of these routes or percolate down through the ground, and enter the well at depth.
Q: What to do about flooded Water Wells ?
A: During heavy rains or floods, if flood waters or debris are observed around your well casing, the well water becomes cloudy or muddy, or the water tastes "off," your well may have become contaminated. You should check you well's surface sealing characteristics and flush and disinfect the well immediately. Contaminated wells may contain waterborne disease bacteria.
Your Well may need to be disinfected. See our Disinfection Procedure, or just contact us.
Q: What do I do if I want to Sample my well water ?
A: The Placer County Public Health Laboratory, (530)889-7205, has water sampling kits available. By following the water sampling instructions, a well owner is able to do their own water sampling. If you would like to have sampling done, however, contact a licensed well driller. Water sampling instructions.
The Placer County Public Health Laboratory offers water testing services for specimens brought to them from households or businesses. The Public Health Laboratory accepts water specimens Monday thru Friday (excluding County Holidays, the day before Thanksgiving, and the day before the Christmas Holiday). All specimens must be returned by 4:00pm on the day of collection. No appointment is needed and walk-in service is accepted.
If you have further questions, call the Placer County Public Health Laboratory at (530) 889-7205.
Please note as well, that the Public Health Laboratory tests only for Coliform Bacteria. If you are interested in chemical or mineral testing, contact a well driller or another laboratory.