Well Permitting and Registration
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The District requires a permit for drilling or producing from a well so long as the well is one of the following:
- A permit shall be required for all wells drilled in the District except for registered wells. Also, all existing wells in the County which do not meet the requirements of a registered/exempt well must be permitted.
- All permits, whether existing or permits that will be issued by the District, shall have an acre-foot annual production limit and an instantaneous pumping rate assigned by the District. Any existing permit that does not have both an instantaneous rate in gallons per minute and an annual pumping limit in acre-feet shall be amended administratively by the General Manager and brought up to current District Rules, policies, resolutions, or requirements.
- A domestic and livestock well to be drilled on tracts of land platted after September 1, 2002 and are less than 5 acres will require a permit.
- Permits must be applied for and filed with the District on forms promulgated by the District.
- An application for a new well permit must be accompanied by an administrative fee set by the District.
- Additional information may be required by the District, which could delay the issuance of a permit.
- No driller or drilling company may begin to drill any well or alter a well to produce 25,000 gallons or more per day without having first filed and have approved by the District a Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District water well TDLR license certification form with the District.
- Except as provided by exemption, perception, and limitations §36.117 of the Texas Water Code or by these rules, no person, firm, or corporation may begin to drill, equip, complete or substantially alter the size of a well or pump in the District without first obtaining a permit from the District.
- The General Manager may act on administratively complete permit applications requesting a pumping rate of 50 gpm or less and an annual production rate of 40 acre/feet or less within twenty (20) working days of receiving a complete application and fee. The general manager has the option of forwarding a permit application to the Board for consideration and possible issuance at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
- All permit applications requesting an instantaneous rate of more than 50 gpm and/or an annual production amount of more than 40 acre- feet shall be referred to the Board for administrative action at the next Board Meeting.
- If an application is denied, the applicant shall be entitled to a hearing before the board of directors. A written request for such a hearing must be filed with the District. The District shall give notice of such hearing, and shall proceed to conduct such hearing as provided for in these rules.
- Drilling of a permitted well must commence within 120 days of issuance of the permit application. A managerial extension may be obtained from the District for up to an additional 180 days.
- Inspection by the District of the well location, drilling operations, and completion of a well requires access to the well before, during, and after drilling operations and completion. The owner/agent Shall ensure access to the well site and well after completion for District inspection.
- The water well driller shall have a maximum of sixty (60) days from the well completion date or cessation of drilling to submit the driller’s log, District well completion report, and anything else required to the District.
- If the permit is denied or revoked by the District, or cancelled by the landowner, the permit fee will not be refunded.
- Within 30 days of Permit approval, the Permittee shall provide to the District proof that they have filed in the Real Property Records of Bandera County, an Affidavit to the Public on a District form, the purpose of which is to notify subsequent purchasers that a Permit has been issued for production of Groundwater from a Well on the property.
- To reduce the interference between wells during pumping, the following spacing is required between the wells: Wells that produce more than 25,000 gal / day must be a minimum of 200 ft. from any existing permitted wells in the same producing intervals. A well permitted to produce more than 72,000 gpd, (72,000 gpd = 50 gpm) must have a minimum of 1000 feet from existing wells completed in the same producing formation. A variance by the Board may be made if the applicant submits sufficient acceptable data to show insignificant impact on existing wells.
- Production Limits:
- The annual production limit for each permitted well can be set up to 1 acre foot per acre per year, times the total number of acres in the tract of land owned by the permit applicant and identified in the permit application as associated with the well. Any existing wells on the tract being utilized for the new well must be taken into account when setting the production limit. A maximum of 200 acre-feet will be considered by the District for each well permitted.
- For a Community Water System or Retail Public Water Utility that utilizes Groundwater as a source of supply, production limits shall be based on the service area and number of connections served instead of ownership of acreage. Once a Permit is issued containing a Production Limit based on this Rule 3.4 R, any expansion of the service area requires a Permit Amendment.
- If multiple tracts are being utilized to justify production amounts, an affidavit to the public must be filed and recorded with the Bandera County Court Clerk. This affidavit must indicate that the tracts cannot be sold separately while the well permit is in effect.
- A lower production limit may be set in areas where water availability studies indicate insufficient water is available for permitting.
- A variance to the production limits outlined by Rule 3.4.17 can be considered by the Board. The applicant shall produce documentation showing the beneficial use and documented need for the higher amount of groundwater production. The Board can require water availability studies with test wells, a geological survey outlining the impact to neighboring properties and aquifer conditions, or any other relevant data.
- The following conditions or terms shall be included in a well permit:
- The permitted annual production amount stated in acre-feet;
- The maximum instantaneous production rate stated in gallons per minute;
- Permit review date;
- The permitted uses of produced groundwater;
- Production meter and reporting requirement;
- Drought restrictions;
- District’s right to inspect the well and well records to ensure compliance with District and State rules and requirements;
- Other conditions or restrictions required by the District.
- The District may prohibit, reassess, or restrict production as set out in the Drought Management Plan.
- Changes in ownership of permitted wells shall be reported to the District in writing and shall include:
- The permit number.
- The new owner’s name and address.
- The new owner’s telephone numbers.
- Copy of the deed to establish ownership.
- Use of well.
- A statement from the owner acknowledging and intention to comply with any permit conditions and reporting requirements.
- A statement from the owner acknowledging receipt of the District’s rules and Drought Management Plan.
- A statement from the owner acknowledging the well can be inspected by District personnel to ensure compliance with District and State rules and requirements.
- The District may review the amount of water authorized to be pumped under a permit to reestablish pumping limits every 5 years.
- A change in operation or usage of a permitted well from those conditions specified in the existing permit is prohibited without approval of an application for an amended permit. If Permittee requests a change in permit conditions, the District will consider such request on the same basis as the District considers an application for a new permit.
Planning on permitting a well? Below you will find all of the required paperwork. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the District office during regular business hours.
The District will not require a permit for drilling or producing from a well so long as the well is one of the following:
- For a well located on a tract of land platted before September 1, 2002 and used solely for domestic use or for providing water for livestock or poultry, and that is drilled, completed, or equipped so that it is incapable of producing more than 25,000 gallons of groundwater a day. Also, the tract of land cannot already have an existing working well. If the tract contains an abandoned well that well must be plugged to District and TDLR rules or specifications. The lot size exemption applies only to tracts of land platted before September 1, 2002. For lots platted after September 1, 2002, a track size of five acres or more will be required for a registered well. Wells must adhere to all spacing and construction requirements mandated by both State and District rules, policies, and requirements.
- A Well located on a tract of land, platted on or after September 1, 2002, of 5 acres or more and used solely for Domestic Purposes and/or for providing water for Livestock or poultry, and that is drilled, completed, or equipped so that it is incapable of producing more than 25,000 gallons per day. There cannot be another water well located on the same 5 acres. Any abandoned wells must be plugged to District and TDLR rules or specifications. For multiple water wells on the same tract of land over 5 acres there shall be a minimum of 5 acres per well to help ensure the wells will still be considered as exempt /registered wells.
- Wells with more than 3 and less than 15 residential connections, and are not considered public water supplies, must be permitted by the District as a Community Shared Well.
- A well used solely to supply water for a rig that is actively engaged in drilling or exploration operations for an oil or gas well permitted by the Railroad Commission of Texas, or it’s successors, provided that the person holding the permit is responsible for drilling and operating the water well, and that the well is located on the same lease or field associated with the drilling rig. The well must be registered and comply with all Rules of the District for construction and reporting of volumes pumped.
- A water well authorized under a permit issued by the Railroad Commission of Texas, or it’s successors, under Chapter 134, Natural Resources Code, or for production from such a well to the extent that the withdrawals are required for mining activities regardless of any subsequent use of the water.
- Wells must adhere to all spacing, construction, and usage requirements mandated by both State and District rules, policies, and requirements.