This section contains information on:
All wells are required, at minimum, to be registered by the District. Exempt Wells are required to be registered and must comply with minimum well construction standards but are exempt from permitting for pumpage. Exempt Wells are generally defined as low capacity wells used solely for large lot residential or livestock needs.
Permitting for Nonexempt Wells is determined by the well use type and the pertinent management zone that the well is located in. The pertinent management zone is determined by the wells geographical location (click on the image below) and the target aquifer to be produced from (click on the image below). The explanation of permit types below describes the pertinent management zones by permit type. Established Management Zones (MZs) include:
• the Western Freshwater Edwards MZ;
• the Eastern Freshwater Edwards MZ;
• the Saline Edwards MZ;
• the Trinity Outcrop MZ;
• the Middle Trinity MZ;
• the Lower Trinity MZ;
All nonexempt wells are required to be permitted for groundwater withdrawals from the aquifers managed by the District. There are two forms of authorization for pumpage from nonexempt wells: 1) authorization via a General Permit by Rule or 2) authorization via an Individual Production Permit.
General Permits by Rule - Certain nonexempt wells may be eligible for authorization under a District general permit. A general permit is a permit by rule that allows for authorization of both drilling and groundwater production without a requirement for notification or a hearing provided the minimum eligibility criteria are met. General permit authorizations are available for the following types of wells:
Nonexempt Domestic Use (NDU) Wells - This authorization applies to all MZs and is for wells that will be used solely for the domestic needs of residences located on small lots where there is no other alternative water source available. This pumpage is subject to drought restrictions, but may be authorized during drought since it is the sole source of domestic supply.
Nonexempt Monitor Wells – This authorization applies to all MZs and is for wells that are constructed by non-governmental entities to measure or monitor the quality, quantity, or movement of substances, elements, chemicals, or fluids beneath the surface of the ground. This authorization allows for limited pumpage associate with groundwater sampling and is not subject to drought restrictions.
Test Wells – This authorization applies to the Middle Trinity, Lower Trinity MZ, and the Saline Edwards MZ (including within the 3-mile buffer) and is for wells that are constructed to be used solely for hydrogeological evaluation of the aquifer(s) and assessment of prospective uses of water. This authorization allows for limited pumpage for aquifer testing purposes and is not subject to drought restrictions.
Individual Production Permits - As of September 9, 2004, new rules were implemented based on the results of the District's Sustainable Yield Study requiring that all new authorizations for pumpage from District aquifers were issued as Conditional Production Permits. These Permits are interruptible and subject to curtailment up to 100% during Extreme Drought. This policy essentially caps all firm-yield pumpage of groundwater from the Fresh Water Edwards MZs. Permits issued prior to implementation of conditional permitting rules and for wells in the Middle Trinity, Lower Trinity, and Saline Edwards MZs have historic-use status and are designated as Historical Production Permits. Individual Production Permit types include:
Historical Edwards Production Permits - This authorization applies to the Eastern and Western Freshwater Edwards MZs and is for those registered nonexempt wells approved by the District prior to September 9, 2004. These permits are subject to drought restrictions of up to 40% curtailment for public water systems during an State IV Exceptional Drought and up to 90% curtailment for non-public water systems during an Emergency Response Period.
Historical Saline Edwards Production Permits - This authorization applies to nonexempt wells in the Saline Edwards MZ located outside of the 3-mile buffer. These permits are not subject to drought restrictions.
Historical Trinity Production Permits - This authorization applies to nonexempt wells in the Middle and Lower Trinity MZs. These permits are subject to drought restrictions of up to 30% curtailment during a Stage III Critical Drought.
Conditional Edwards Production Permits – This authorization applies to the Western and Eastern Freshwater Edwards Management Zones and is for nonexempt wells approved after September 9, 2004. These wells are interruptible and are subject to 100% curtailment during a District-declared drought. Conditional Production Permits may be Class A, B, C, or D (See Rule 3-1.24 for distinction and allocation limits).
For all non-exempt wells, staff tracks pumpage data through monthly submitted meter readings from permitted wells and monitors usage for compliance with the District Rules and Bylaws, Production Permits, and approved UDCPs. Please refer to the District Rules and Bylaws or feel to free to contact us for further questions or information.
Descriptions of the various forms are provided below. Please contact our office if you have any questions or need assistance with completion.
Registration and Permit Applications:
PDF: Registration, Drilling, and Plugging Application – Use this form for registering new or existing wells, drilling new wells, or plugging existing wells.
Interactive PDF: Registration, Drilling, and Plugging Application
PDF: Production Permit Application – Use this form for new or increased pumpage.
Interactive PDF: Production Permit Application
Interactive PDF: Meter Readings Form for One Well
PDF: Meter Reading Form for Multiple Wells
PDF: Open Records Request
PDF: TWDB Well Schedule
Permitting Process Flowchart - This document describes the permitting process.
BSEACD Authorization/ Permit Application Checklist - Use this checklist to make sure all the necessary information is submitted with a new permit or major amendment application. Major amendments are all amendments not considered minor amendments.
BSEACD Permit Minor Amendment Application Checklist - Use this checklist to make sure all the necessary information is submitted with a minor amendment application. Minor amendments include:
- transfer of ownership
- reduction in permitted pumpage
- change from nonexempt to exempt
- Increase in pumpage of 10% or less for those with permits of 12,000,000 gallons/year or more
- increase in pumpage of 2,000,000 gallons or less for those with permits of 12,000,000 gallons/year or less
Instructions and FAQs for Public Notice - Pubic notice is required for all new wells (except exempt wells and NDUs) and all major amendments.
Please refer to the summary table below for fee information or access the full version of the District’s Board adopted fee schedule for additional information.
All applications not authorized by a general permit by rule are reviewed by staff for administrative completeness in accordance with timeframes specfied in District Rule 3-1.6.B. Certain applications may also be subject to public notification (3-1.4.B), a public hearing (3-1.4.C), and/or Board action (3-1.6.C). Below is a summary table with pertinent timeframes for each of these procedures.