Water Well Standards


Part I. General

Section 1. Definitions.Note 5
  1. Well or Water Wells. As defined in Section 13710 of the Water Code, well or water well:
  2. "…means any artificial excavation constructed by any method for the purpose of extracting water from, or injecting water into, the underground. This definition shall not include: (a) oil and gas wells, or geothermal wells constructed under the jurisdiction of the Department on Conservation, except those wells converted to use as water wells; or (b) wells used for the purpose of (1) dewatering excavations during construction, or (2) stabilizing hillsides or earth embankments."
  3. Community Water Supply Well. A water well used to supply water for domestic purposes in systems subject to Chapter 7, Part 1, Division 5 of the California Health and Safety Code. Included are wells supplying public water systems classified by the Department of Health Services as "Noncommunity water systems" and "State small water systems" (California Waterworks Standards, Title 22, California Administrative Code). Such wells are variously referred to as "Municipal Wells", "City Wells", or "Public Water Supply Wells".

  4. Individual Domestic Well. A water well used to supply water for the domestic needs of an individual residence or systems of four or less service connections (or "hook-ups" as they are often called).

  5. Industrial Wells. Water wells used to supply industry on an individual basis (in contrast to supplies provided through community systems).

  6. Agricultural Wells. Water wells used to supply water only for irrigation or other agricultural purposes, including so-called "stock wells".

  7. Recharge or Injection Wells. Wells constructed to introduce water into the ground as a means of replenishing groundwater basins, repelling the intrusion of seawater or disposing of waste water.Note 6

  8. Air-conditioning Wells. Wells constructed to return to the groundwater which has been used as a coolant in air conditioning processes. Because the water introduced into these wells is degraded (from the standpoint of temperature), such wells have been construed as waste discharges and are, therefore, subject to the water quality control laws (Division 7 of the Water Code and Division 5 of the Health and Safety Code).

  9. Horizontal Wells. Water wells drilled horizontally or at an angle with the horizon (as contrasted with the common vertical well). This definition does not apply to horizontal drains or "wells" constructed to remove subsurface water from hillsides, cuts, or fills (such installations are used to prevent or correct conditions that produce landslides).

  10. Exploration Hole (or Boring). An uncased, temporary excavation whose purpose is the determination of hydrologic conditions at a site.

  11. Test Wells. Wells constructed to obtain information needed for design of other wells. Test wells should not be confused with "exploration holes", which are temporary. Test wells are cased and can be converted to other uses such as groundwater monitoring and, under certain circumstances, to production wells.

  12. Inactive or Standby Well. A well not routinely operating, but capable of being made operable with a minimum effort.

  13. Enforcing Agency. An agency designated by duly authorized local, regional, or State government to administer and enforce laws or ordinances pertaining to the construction, alteration, maintenance, and destruction of water wells. The California State Department of Health Services or the local health agency is the enforcing agency for community water supply wells.

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