Apply to build or destroy a well

Get a permit to build or remove a well or soil boring.

What to do

1. Fill out an application

Download and fill out an application for your type of well. Monitoring wells and soil borings help track groundwater conditions. Production wells pull groundwater to use.

2. Collect your fees

You will need to pay:

  • An application fee (payable by check or money order to the SF Department of Public Health)
  • deposit fee for the first hour of inspection time for your type of well

You can pay all your fees with 1 check.

If the inspection lasts more than an hour, we will send you a bill. You must pay the bill within 30 days.

3. Include information for a production well

If you are building a production well, include:

  • Your proposed construction specifications
  • A detailed map or plot plan
  • A site safety plan

4. Submit your items

Make sure to submit your documents at least 30 days before you start drilling. Email your items to

You can also mail or deliver your documents in-person to:

Environmental Health

49 South Van Ness Avenue
Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94103

If submitting by mail, include "ATTN: Well Program" in the address.

5. Schedule a well inspection

Schedule your inspections in advance if possible. You must wait until your inspection before you start work on the well.

Permit duration

We will review your application and give you the permit. 

  • If you are building a well or soil boring, your permit will last 6 months. 
  • If you are destroying a well or soil boring, your permit will last 90 days.

Get help

Last updated April 16, 2024