Your Questions Answered
Q: Why does the District issue permits?
A: Water is a public resource that belongs to all of us. However, fresh water is not limitless. Excessive water withdrawals can harm the resources. Other human activities also pose threats. Without the proper safeguards for wetlands, floodplain encroachment and stormwater runoff can cause pollution and flooding. District permitting benefits residents, property owners and businesses by reducing the risk of flooding and protecting water quality and water supplies for current and future generations.
Q: What types of permits does the District issue?
A: The District issues three kinds of permits. Water use permits ensure that withdrawals are for reasonable and beneficial use, do not harm the resources and do not adversely impact existing legal users. Environmental resource permits protect wetlands and floodplain functions, reduce or remove pollutants from stormwater runoff and reduce the risk of new development causing flooding. Well construction permits ensure that wells are properly constructed to protect the water resources.
Q: Do I need a District permit? And if so, what type of permit do I need?
A: If you want to withdraw large quantities of water, develop property or construct a well, there’s a good chance you’ll need a District permit.
Water use permits allow the withdrawal of specific quantities of groundwater or surface water for limited periods of time under certain conditions. You need a water use permit if:
- You plan to withdraw more than 100,000 gallons per day.
- The outside diameter of your groundwater well is 6 inches or larger.
- The outside diameter of your withdrawal pipe from a surface water body is 4 inches or larger.
- The total withdrawal capacity of your system is 1 million gallons per day or larger.
Environmental resource permits (ERPs) ensure that new development properly treats stormwater runoff to remove pollutants, compensates for any losses in floodplain storage, mitigates for any impacts to wetlands, and does not increase the rate of stormwater runoff onto neighboring properties. You need an ERP if your construction project:
- Disrupts wetlands
- Encroaches on a floodplain
- Increases, decreases or diverts stormwater runoff
- Contributes to water pollution
Well construction permits are required prior to installation of a well within the District. The permits ensure that wells are constructed by qualified contractors and meet rigid safety and durability standards. Generally, a withdrawal for personal domestic use for an individual home is small enough to fall below the threshold for requiring a water use permit. However, if you are constructing a well, your water well contractor will still need to get a well construction permit.
Q: Where do I get my permit?
A: You can apply for a permit at WaterMatters.org/Permits or by submitting a permit application to your local District service office. All District offices are available to assist with permit applications.
Q: Can I access permit information online?
A: Development of the ePermitting Replacement Project is underway and will provide an enhanced user experience for internal and external customers. The new mobile-friendly ePermitting system will be compatible with multiple web browsers and provide easier navigation and registration, quick access to permit information, enhanced searchability and increased speed for faster submittals. The ePermitting Replacement Project will be launched in phases: first ERPs in 2021, followed by eCompliance, Water Use and Well Construction permits. To learn more about our ePermitting system visit WaterMatters.org/ePermitting.
Michelle Hopkins P.E.
Regulation Division Director