Reports or studies that may be required for a Drilling Permit

Reports or studies that may be required for a Drilling Permit:

Study of Saltwater Intrusion

When the drill site is located less than a kilometer from the coast, susceptible to contamination by saltwater intrusion or other technical ramifications concerning the aquifer.

Study of Interference between wells or other bodies of water

When drilling location is located within 100 meters from other legally registered water well, creek, river or water sources.

Filtration/Contamination Study (Well Setback)

Groundwater wells have a permanent setback between 15–40 meter radius. This setback concerns all public roads, construction, septic systems, and property lines. Water well setbacks can be reduced by completing and providing a Filtration/Contamination Study with your drilling permit. This study will provide all technical data and analysis to ensure that the porosity and transitivity of the soil shall impede the source of contaminants, if so evident, from entering the aquifer via the water well.

Water Well Setback Regulations:

A regulatory setback of the water well is a 40meter radius from the center of where the well is drilled. The setback is to protect the Aquifer from accidental releases of contaminates into the Aquifer. Unfortunately, Costa Rica has no grouting or sealing laws, and the regulations are designed using distance instead of isolation of the water well from the Aquifer. On large projects, when the anticipation of large volumes of groundwater will be needed, it is recommended that the 40meter setback be maintained. When the 40meter setback is maintained, a Water Well Concession can be approved for the maximum pumping rate recommended by the Geologist.

When the option is decided to reduce the setback of the water well, usable water on the concession will be reduced per the recommendations in the Filtration/Contamination study. Water Well Setback reductions are typically reduced to a 15-meter radius, sometimes less.

Illegal Wells

Drilling illegally without a permit is highly discouraged. Licensed water well drillers are one of the few activities closely scrutinized by the Costa Rican Government, and we are given a license to drill water wells. If a drilling company is found drilling a water well without a valid permit, the first occurrence is a 6-month suspension, and the company can be fined. The second occurrence is the drilling company’s license will be revoked permanently.

Landowners who drill illegal wells face the danger of the water well being permanently closed and abandoned by the Government. The Water Well Concession is the Landowners proof of an approved groundwater source. If the property is for sale or a building permit is applied for, the concession is the document proving the property has an approved water source.

  • Always contract with licensed water well contractors.
  • Always submit for a permit.
  • Always maintain your concessions validly.

Drilling a water well is planned and should be completed before any construction takes place. Plan and avoid future problems and project delays.

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