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Drilling wells 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.

The department is responsible for:

  • ensuring that only those drillers who meet the required standard are licensed
  • monitoring drillers’ to ensure drilling works continue to 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 construction 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 construction 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 drillers well construction report on the approved form within 30 days of completion of the drilling.

Complete the drillers well construction report.

Watch the guide on how to complete a drillers well completion report for drilling activities authorised by a well permit in South Australia:

If a condition of the well permit requires you to submit water samples, please send water samples 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 construction permits: (08) 8735 1134
  • State Drilling Inspector: (08) 8463 6841 or 0428 828 569 
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