Steps to Completing the Permitting and Inspection Process for New Wells


Submit Application, Site Plan, and Payment

The builder, owner or authorized agent submits completed application for a well and/or septic permit. The application should be submitted via the Wake County Permit Portal. This includes submittal of an acceptable site plan and payment of the permit fee (please refer to fee schedule on the Well Permits and Approvals page).


Site Evaluation and Construction Authorization

A Wake County Environmental Services (WCES) representative will evaluate the site for well and septic area suitability. If the lot is suitable, a Construction Authorization (CA) is issued and the Building permit can be issued. The CA will be available to the applicant and listed contacts on the Permit Portal. Unsuitable lots will prompt denial/appeal process.


Well and/or Septic Permit

The Builder/Applicant receives well and/or septic permit through the Permit Portal. All contacts on the permit will also be able to access attachments on the permit. Add your certified well contractor as a contact to the CA or forward them a copy of the CA. Permits may also be faxed to well contractor, agent, or homeowner. The certified well contractor will need a copy of the CA before they can being work.


Well Grout Inspection

A Certified well contractor constructs well and contact WCES (919-856-7400) for well grout inspection.


Pump Inspection

A Certified/Licensed pump installer of the homeowner’s choice  installs a pump. The installer or applicant must call WCES (919-856-7400) for a Well Head Inspection within 72 hours of completion. If the wellhead fails the inspection, the installer is notified, and a reinspection fee is assessed. It is the responsibility of the pump installer to call in the Well Head inspection.


Water Quality Testing

A Bacteriological, Inorganic, and Nitrate/Nitrite sample analysis must be obtained and meet water quality standards as described in “Regulations Governing Well Construction and Groundwater Protection in Wake County” before the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is issued. Depending upon prior land usage, additional samples will be scheduled as well if deemed necessary by WCES or if required by state regulation.

  1. Chlorine Flush**. Samples will be obtained after chlorine has had appropriate contact time (24 hours) in the well and all chlorine has been flushed from the well at the wellhead (24–48 hours).

  2. Water Quality Sample Collection. Samples will be collected within 3–5 business days of initial request if no chlorine residual is present. Bacterial samples require approximately 48–72 hours processing time. Inorganic, Nitrate/Nitrite, Pesticide, and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) samples require approximately 2 weeks processing time. Gross Alpha tests require 3 to 4 weeks and have a 1 in 7 chance of requiring treatment and re-testing. All water sample results will be “Attachments” to the permit. A WCES representative will contact the applicant if any of the samples fail to meet water quality standards. The builder/applicant also has the option to use a private, certified laboratory to collect, analyze and report results to WCES.

  3. Scheduling Well Head and Water Quality Inspections. The wellhead inspection and water sample collection may be scheduled for the same time, however if the wellhead fails inspection no water samples will be obtained, and both inspections must be rescheduled as per previous direction. All applicable reinspection fees must be received before a reinspection will be scheduled.

  4. Power to the Well. The builder/agent must provide power to the well so that the WCES representative can collect water samples. If power to the well is not certain, please contact Environmental Services at 919-856-7400 and ask to speak with the appropriate WCES representative so that an appointment can be scheduled to obtain water samples. If water samples cannot be collected due to lack of power, a reinspection fee will be assessed.

**Special Note: Be sure to run water away from the septic system and at a rate appropriate to the well yield. Care must be taken when running off lower yield wells due to the possibility of damaging the pump.


Well Abandonment

If there is an existing well present on the lot, and the conditions of the permit require that the existing well be properly abandoned, then the new well permit is not complete until the existing well is properly abandoned, inspected, and all final documentation is received.


Existing Well Serving New Construction

If there is an existing well that is proposed to serve new construction or relocation, the existing well must meet the same water quality standards as a new well.



All fees can be paid online via the Wake County Permit Portal. Wake County can also accept payment over the phone by calling 919-856-7400 to pay fees by credit card or mail checks made payable to Wake County Environmental Services to 336 Fayetteville St., PO Box 550, Raleigh NC 27602. Be sure to include permit # reference on check in the notes section.