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Safe Drinking Water FAQs

1.  Can I drill a well on my property?

If the parcel is not within the service area of a water purveyor, well water may be allowed if all setbacks are met and the well permit application is approved. See question 6 for more information on obtaining a well permit.

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2.  How do I test my water or get test results?

Private wells may be tested by the homeowner at their own expense. DEHS recommends testing annually for bacteria, nitrates and any other contaminants of concern, i.e., arsenic, fluoride, iron, manganese and sulfur. A list of State certified labs in San Bernardino County is available. Click here for the state approved lab list or contact our office at 1-800-442-2283 for more information.

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3.  How do I know how much water I use from my well?

A totalizer flowmeter can be placed on the discharge line from the well to measure gallons per minute (gpm). Typical homes only need a well that pumps 1-3 gpm. DEHS recommends the homeowner has a pump test conducted on the well every year to determine its pumping capacity, motor efficiency, and static water level (from Southern California Edison or a private company).

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4.  How should my well be constructed for an individual home?

California Water Well Standards must be met for the construction of wells in San Bernardino County. For a diagram of surface slab and pump installation details click here.

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5.  Do I need a permit to construct or destroy a well?

A well permit is required for the construction, destruction, or rehabilitation of any well in San Bernardino County. The well permit must be signed by the property owner and a C-57 well driller that is registered with this County. A list of registered well drillers is available here or contact our office at 1-800-442-2283 for more information.

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6.  How do I obtain a well permit application?

The well permit application is available here or call 1-800-442-2283, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to request a paper copy. Application may be submitted electronically, by mail, or submitted at any one of our offices.

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7.  What is the Desert Groundwater Management Ordinance (DGMO)?

The DGMO is County Ordinance 33.06551 et. al. that aims to protect the groundwater resources within the unincorporated and unadjudicated desert region of San Bernardino County. Well proposals which are located outside of the jurisdictional boundaries of the Mojave Water Agency and Public Water Districts within the Morongo Basin and which are situated in the unincorporated desert region of the County, generally described as that area of the County lying west of the Colorado River and the California-Nevada State line, north of the San Bernardino-Riverside County line, south of the San Bernardino-Inyo County line and east of Fort Irwin Military Reservation, the Mojave Water Agency, the Marine Air Ground Task Force Command Center, Twentynine Palms Water District and the City of Twentynine Palms are subject to the ordinance and must either adopt a groundwater management plan or fall under one of the exclusions. For more information contact DEHS at 800-442-2283.

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8.  Can I install a water storage tank and haul water instead of drilling a well?

Hauled water is not allowed for new construction. The potable water source for the property must be from an approved water purveyor or well.

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