Well Permits & the Application Process

Well Permit Requirements
The Code of VA (12 VAC 5-630-220) provides laws that support water quality and water safety for all citizens; these laws include a state-wide permitting process for constructing and maintaining fresh water wells.

According to the law, you must get a well permit if you plan or consent to any of the following actions:
  • Construction of a well
  • Alteration of a well
  • Rehabilitation of a well
  • Abandonment of a well
  • Extension of a private well
However, you do not need a well permit if you are replacing a well pump or replacing a well seal or cap (with an equivalent well seal or cap); if these acts are considered as general maintenance and not as modifications to the well system itself.

Water well permit fee is $300.  For assistance with obtaining a well permit, please contact Health Services.

Before Applying for a Water Well Permit with Your Local Health Department

The following are some simple steps to assist in the water well application process:
  • Provide a survey plat of your property if available.
  • Make a site sketch of your property showing buried utilities and potential sources of pollution (such as drain fields).
  • Provide a list of previous property owners so that the Health Department may locate any old records for your property.
  • If you are having problems with an existing well, contact a licensed well drilling service to investigate the site prior to submitting an application toward a permit for a new well.
Types of Well Permits
  • A Construction Permit is required if you are planning to construct or change the water source withdrawal treatment, storage or distribution system of a proposed or existing waterworks; this permit is valid for five (5) years.
  • An Operation Permit is required of all waterworks in Virginia. It is typically issued after satisfactory completion of all facility construction and approval of monitoring, reporting and operation plans.
  • A General Permit for Construction and Distribution Mains may be issued to a waterworks owner (or their representative) granting authority to review and approve plans for distribution mains. The General Permit is valid for five (5) years and is renewable.
The application for a Construction Permit (PDF) is available from the Virginia Department of Health.