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Water Quality in Areas of Oil and Gas Production – Property Owner Sampling


The California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) Regulations of Section 1783.2 Well Stimulation Treatment, requires a copy of the well stimulation treatment notice, approved by CalGEM and information on available water sampling and testing to be provided to every owner or tenant whose property line location is:

  • Located within 1,500 feet of the well that is to undergo well stimulation treatment, or
  • Within 500 feet from the horizontal projection of all subsurface portions of the designated well to the surface.

In accordance with Public Resources Code (Pub. Resources Code), the notified party may request water quality sampling and testing on any water well or surface water suitable for drinking or irrigation, paid for by the owner/operator of the oil or gas well. Water samples can be collected for baseline measurements prior to the start of the well stimulation treatment (Pub. Resources Code, §3160, subd. (d)(7)(A)).

Follow-up measurements (after well treatment stimulation) shall be on the same schedule as any pressure testing of the treated well's casing. If the operator does not conduct a pressure test on the treated well casing following well stimulation treatment, a follow-up water sample shall be made available at least once. This sampling and testing program is subject to audit and review by the State Water Board.

All water quality data collected as part of the property owner requested water sampling will be submitted to the State Water Board in an electronic format that is compatible with the State Water Board GeoTracker information system.

Additional information about requirements for designated contractor sampling and testing can be found in Section 3.0 of the Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring in areas of Oil and Gas Well Stimulation (Model Criteria).

List of Designated Contractors

The State Water Board is required to designate one or more qualified independent third-party contractors to perform property owner requested water quality sampling and testing (Pub. Resources Code, §3160, subd. (d)(7)(B)). If you have been contacted by a well operator and would like to have your water sampled by a designated contractor, please visit our List of Designated Contractors for Water Sampling.

How to Become a Designated Contractor

To apply to become a designated contractor for water sampling, or if you are interested in learning more details, please visit: How to Become a Designated Contractor for Water Sampling.