Questions About Paso Robles Wells
PART 3: QUESTIONS ABOUT WELLS
The following information is from the San Luis Obispo County Planning and Building Department concerning the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin Ordinance.
These frequently asked questions are broken into three categories – the first set contains general questions about the applicability of the ordinance and how it is implemented; the second set provides answers about the various uses and permits that are not or may not be subject to the ordinance; and the third answers questions about Paso Robles wells.
For further questions, contact the San Luis Obispo County Planning and Building Department at (805)781-5600 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I drill a new well?
Yes, the Board of Supervisors did not prohibit the drilling of new Paso Robles wells.
If you filed for a well permit with Environmental Health and an electrical permit from the Department of Planning and Building prior to Aug. 27, 2013, your well permit can be issued and processed as normally required. However, if you wish to establish new structures or agricultural uses on your site that would use that well – establishment of those uses is subject to the requirements of the Urgency Ordinance.
If you file for a well permit with Environmental Health after Aug. 27, 2013, you will be subject to the requirements of the Urgency Ordinance.
Can I drill a new well if my well went dry?
Yes, a replacement well for a well that went dry or is otherwise non-producing is not subject to the Urgency Ordinance. The new well must be drilled to the same or smaller diameter as the existing well.
You may also qualify to have your fees waived for the well permit and the accompanying electrical permit. To determine whether you qualify for a fee waiver, please contact the Division of Environmental Health, County Health Department.
For the purposes of receiving the fee waiver and determining whether the well is dry (or is otherwise non-producing) the following information is required:
- The well owner must submit a letter of explanation documenting the failure of the current domestic well to provide adequate water (dry well). Documentation such as: a licensed and bonded well drilling contractor’s letter verifying well failure, the California Department of Water Resources Well Completion Report for the failed well, original well approval construction letter from Environmental Health Services, and receipts for hauled water to the subject property.
- The well owner must also verify that the current domestic well was drawing groundwater from the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin by locating the well accurately on a map, and by providing the Assessor’s Parcel Number, section/township/range, street address, and GPS coordinates of where the well/property is located.
Can I establish a new structure or agricultural use that would use an existing well on my property?
Yes, however, those new structures or agricultural uses would be required to meet the provisions of the Urgency Ordinance.
There are some exceptions set forth in the Urgency Ordinance. They are described earlier in this FAQ. Any modification or improvement that will increase the amount of groundwater extracted would be subject to the requirements of the Urgency Ordinance.