Drinking Water Wells
What is a small water system?
A small water system is defined as water for human consumption that has 15 or more service connections or regularly served at least 25 individuals at least 60 days out of the year. Nevada County through our Local Primacy Agency, under contract with the State Water Resources Control Board, ensures that small water systems deliver safe, adequate, and dependable potable water.
Water systems are divided into the following categories:
- Community Water System: A public water system that has 15 or more service connections used by year-long residents OR regularly serves at least 25 year-long residents of the area served by the system.
- NonTransient-Noncommunity Water System: A public water system that is not a community water system that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons during six months of the year.
- Transient-Noncommunity Water System: A non-community water system that does NOT regularly serve at least 25 of the same persons during six months of the year.
- State Small Water System: A system for the provision of piped water to the public for human consumption that serves at least five, but not more than 14, service connections and does not regularly serve drinking water to more than an average of 25 individuals daily for more than 60 days out of the year.
In order to apply for a Small Water System, please complete the following:
- First read through the Requirements for New Public Water Wells PDF Opens a New Window. .
- A Preliminary Technical Report shall be submitted to Nevada County Environmental Health prior to doing any water-related construction.
- Submit an application to drill a Class II well to Nevada County Environmental Health along with any applicable fees. The application should include a well site control zone with all required setbacks, design plans and specification sheets and documentation for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
- Apply for a major water plan check and submit the following documents, along with the applicable fees:
- Design drawings of proposed facilities drawn to scale, showing location, size, and construction material.
- The estimated Max Day Demand (MDD) and Peak Hourly Demand (PHD).
- A source water assessment and description of each source of water proposed for use.
- Information that demonstrates how the system proposes to reliably meet 4 hours of PHD using available source capacity and distribution reservoirs.
- Technical, Managerial and Financial (TMF) Capacity Assessment.
- Well Completion Report.
- Bacteriological Sample Site Plan and Emergency Notification Plan.
- Fill out the appropriate Application, links for applications can be found below.
- Detailed project description.
For more information, please see below or refer to our FAQ page.
Forms and Applications
- Requirements for New Public Water System (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- New Domestic Water Supply Permit Application Opens a New Window. Domestic Water Supply (PDF)Domestic Water Supply (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- Domestic Water Supply Permit Amendment Application Opens a New Window.
- Domestic Water Supply Permit Application (Pre-Existing Water Systems) Opens a New Window. gsdfgs dag Opens a New Window. Opens a New Window. Domestic Water Supply Permit Opens a New Window. Opens a New Window.
- State Small Water System Application (PDF) Opens a New Window. Opens a New Window.
- Water Quality Emergency Notification Plan Opens a New Window.
- TMF Opens a New Window.
- Bacteriological Sample Siting Plan (BSSP) (PDF) Opens a New Window. Opens a New Window.
- Cross-Connection Survey (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- Sample Cross-Connection Control (CCC) Plan - Simple System (PDF Opens a New Window.
- Revised Total Coliform Rule and Assessment Information Opens a New Window.
- Electronic Annual Report Letter
- Electronic Annual Reporting System Opens a New Window. Opens a New Window.
- Consumer Confidence Reports Letter
- Consumer Confidence Report Templates Opens a New Window. Opens a New Window.
Important News / General Information
- Classifications of Water Systems Opens a New Window.
- Water Resiliency in the Face of Wildfires 2017 (PDF) Opens a New Window.
Lead and Copper (LCR) Rule
- LCR Guidance (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- LCR Homeowner Instructions (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- LCR Reporting Forms (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- Lead Testing in Schools Opens a New Window.
- Nevada County Agricultural Commissioner SOC Report (PDF) Opens in New Window Opens a New Window.
- Synthetic Organic Chemical Waiver Request Opens in New Window Opens a New Window.
- VOC Waiver Request (PDF) Opens a New Window.
Regulations and Reference Material
- Bulletin 74-81 (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- Bulletin 74-90 Draft (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- Drinking Water Regulations Opens a New Window.
- Revised Total Coliform Rule and Assessment Information Opens a New Window.
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.
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 rate. The 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.
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
Forms and Publications
|Residential Well Permit||$592.05|
|Well Permit Renewal||$146.79|
|Raw Water Certification||$494.19|