Monitoring Well Program

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Program Information

Permitting of monitoring wells, inclinometers, vapor probes and cathodic protection wells, exploratory geotechnical borings, or Enhanced Leak Detection (ELD) systems for existing UST monitoring.

General Information

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) Monitoring Well Program is the agency designated by San Diego County to administer and enforce State standards and local ordinances pertaining to the construction, alteration, maintenance, and destruction of monitoring wells, inclinometers, vapor probes, cathodic protection wells, and enhanced leak detection systems (ELD). The goals of the San Diego County DEHQ Monitoring Well Program are:

  • To permit the drilling, installation, and destruction of borings and wells.
  • To educate the public regarding potential monitoring well hazards.
  • To minimize any risks to public health with compliance in bringing deficient monitoring wells to proper standards

These are accomplished by compliance with Article 4, Section 67 of the San Diego County Code and the California Well Standards Bulletin 74-90.

The State of California defines the term ‘monitoring well’ in the Water Quality Control Act, Division 7, Chapter 10, Article 2, Section 13712 as:

Any artificial excavation by any method for the purpose of monitoring fluctuations in groundwater levels, quality of underground waters, or the concentration of contaminants in underground waters.

The term ‘boring’ is defined as:

An uncased temporary excavation whose purpose is the immediate determination of hydrologic conditions at the site.

Generally, monitoring wells and borings are constructed to observe conditions at defined or required locations. Monitoring well locations are usually selected on the basis of known or expected hydrologic, geologic, and water quality conditions and the location of pollutant or contaminant sources. Frequently, monitoring wells need to be located close to or within areas of pollution or contamination. Proper design and construction of groundwater and vadose wells is essential for the acquisition of reliable subsurface data and representative samples. Proper groundwater and vadose well design standards can be found in the Site Assessment and Mitigation (SAM) Manual Guidelines or the California Department of Water Resources Bulletin 74-90.

Monitoring wells can provide a pathway for the movement of poor-quality water, pollutants, and contaminants. Because monitoring wells provide a direct conduit to groundwater, they pose significant threat to groundwater quality if they are not properly constructed, altered, maintained, and destroyed. Affected groundwater may show poor water quality test results and require expensive treatment or clean up. In addition, poorly maintained wells may become a physical safety hazard for humans and animals.

For information regarding monitoring well permitting, design, and construction standards, please see the SAM Manual Guidelines - Section 5 (Pages 1 through 7) and Appendix B.  Please direct any questions to the Monitoring Well Permit Desk.

For information on Enhanced Leak Detection UST monitoring systems contact the Monitoring Well Permit Desk at (858) 505-6688. 

The San Diego County Code of Regulatory Ordinances, Chapter 4 - Wells provide for the construction, repair and reconstruction of wells so that the groundwater of this County will not be polluted or contaminated and that water obtained from such wells will be suitable for the purpose for which used and will not jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of the people of this County.


Well Program

(858) 505-6688


Forms and Applications

(For interactive forms - use the Tab key instead of the Enter key to move from one field to the next)



Guidelines for Completing Monitoring Well Applications

SAM Manual Guidelines for Monitoring Well Permitting, Design, and Construction Standards:

Is a Permit Required for Your Sub-Surface Work?

Click here to access the County's GIS Mapping Tool to find the assessor's parcel number for a property. These mapping tools have numerous functions which can be accessed using the buttons along the top of the map to zoom, print, measure distances, or select the layer manager, which will appear to the right. The layer manager provides a multitude of display options to users including an aerial photograph view. 

For the Geotechnical Boring & Monitoring Well Workshop presentations, go to Forums, Workshops and Updates



Performance Measures: Monitoring Well Destruction Project 2005