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Drilling wells (bores) to access groundwater requires a Well Permit and work must be done by a licensed driller.

Using a licensed driller to construct, decommission or undertake maintenance work on a well helps ensure that South Australia’s groundwater resources are protected. A licensed driller is either the holder of a South Australian Well Driller’s Licence, or the holder of an interstate driller’s licence who has registered to work in South Australia by completing the Consumer and Business Services online notification form.

Further information on the requirements for interstate well drillers who wish to work in South Australia under their interstate driller’s licence can be found on the Well Driller’s Fact Sheet .

The department is responsible for:

  • ensuring that only drillers who meet the required standard are licensed
  • monitoring drillers to ensure drilling works meet legislated standards
  • issuing Well Permits authorising the construction of new wells, and work on existing wells
  • managing the right to take water.

Applying for a permit to drill a well does not guarantee access to water. This is a separate water licensing process and you are encouraged to talk to the department about any proposed well drilling activity and about whether you need a water licence to take the water.

Do you need a Well permit?

You need a permit for:
  • drilling, plugging, backfilling or sealing of a well
  • repairing, replacing or altering the casing, lining or screening of a well.

Conditions of a Well Permit

Once the Well Permit is issued approving the drilling activity, a licensed driller must be engaged and the driller must have sighted the Well Permit before carrying out the drilling activities.

Drillers must supply the department with a completed driller’s well completion report on the approved form within 30 days of completion of the drilling. Holders of a South Australian Well Driller’s Licence can use the online driller’s well completion report.


Interstate drillers working in SA can use the hard copy driller’s well completion report.

Drillers Well Completion Report

Water and Strata Samples

If a condition of the Well Permit requires you to submit water and/or strata samples, please deliver them to:

Department for Environment and Water
24-26 Tikalara Street
Regency Park SA, 5010

Further information

Contact us

  • Water licensing/Well Drillers Licence enquiries: (08) 8463 6876
  • Well Permits: (08) 8735 1134
  • State Drilling Inspector: (08) 8463 6841 or 0428 828 569