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UST Program - Available Local Guidance (LG) Letters

UST Program - Local Guidance (LG) 74


May 23, 1988

To: Local Agencies

This letter transmits information on licensing requirements affecting well drillers at underground storage tank (UST) sites.  The California Contractors' License Law regulates well drilling contractors and defines a well drilling contractor, as one who "installs and repairs water wells and pumps by boring, drilling, excavating, cementing, and cleaning to provide a supply of uncontaminated water" (CCR, Title 16 Section 823.57). Due to the particular concerns about ground water quality, the Contractors' State License Board interprets this definition to include related activities which may affect ground water quality, such as abandonment of wells, installation of monitoring wells, and installation and maintenance of pumps.

In order to qualify for licensing, a well drilling contractor must have four full years of experience within the past ten years.  Some of the pertinent aspects of the examination that pertain to the drilling of monitoring wells are: knowledge of drilling procedures involved in the operation of a rotary or cable-tool rig, as well as knowledge of drilling muds; knowledge of the structure of underground formations as they relate to water production and the forces that control the movement of ground water, the kinds of formations where ground water is found, and the nature of aquifers; and knowledge of activities which are related to water well drilling, particularly monitoring wells, their types and special characteristics. Small projects are not subject to the licensing provision. Division 3, Chapter A, Section 7048 of the Business and Professions Code states that the license requirement:

    " ... does not apply to any work or operation on one undertaking or project by one or more contracts, the aggregate contract price for which for labor, materials, and all other items, is less than three hundred dollars ($300), that work or operations being considered as of casual, minor, or inconsequential nature. This exemption does not apply to a person who advertises or puts out any sign or card or other device which might indicate to the public that he or she is a contractor or that he or she is qualified to engage in the business of a contractor."

If you have any questions, contact CSLB.


[Original signed by:]

Roger John, Chief
Land Disposal Section
Division of Water Quality
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