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  • Developing a Residential Property

    Where do I start?

    Work with a certified septic designer to get water for your property. Most septic designers can:

    • Determine how to obtain water for your property.
    • Will guide you through the process.
    • Submit all necessary applications.

    Where can I get my water?

    Contact the water provider in your area to determine if they can serve your property.

    • If your property is within an area served by a public water system, they have the first right-of-refusal to serve your property.
    • If they can’t serve your property, they must issue a written letter stating they are unable to serve your property and you are able to drill a well in their service area.
    • You must be submit this letter with your application. You can then start the permitting process for an individual well.

    How do I determine the water service area for my property?

    • Search for which provider may serve your property.
    • Enter your address or parcel number in the search bar.
    • When the info box shows up, click anywhere on the property that is outside of this box, and you will see all water quality issues or public water purveyors.
      • If no information is available, there are likely no water purveyors or water quality issues to prevent you from proceeding with permitting.
      • Larger issues not shown on this map might exist, such as permitted or unpermitted landfills which may impact your property.
      • Other uncommon issues may arise from how your property was created, such as platted or short platted under the premise that the property be served by a shared well or public water source. Your septic designer will help you determine these answers.

    What could prevent me from developing my property with an individual well?

    A few areas of Pierce County are difficult to drill a well:

    • Sensitive areas with saltwater intrusion.
    • Areas near contaminated sites or landfills
    • Properties less than 1-acre, or less than 200-feet wide.

    Why does a property less than 200-feet wide create problems with siting or placing a well?

    Individual wells have a 100-foot radius surrounding the well called a sanitary control area (SCA). The SCA is a non-pollution radius, which protects the well.

    Septic drainfields, livestock barns and feedlots, and other potential sources of contamination are prohibited within the SCA. If your property isn’t large enough to maintain a SCA, it could impact neighboring properties.

    We can’t approve a well that impacts a neighboring lot without the property owner’s permission. However, your SCA can overlap a neighboring property with permission from the affected property owners. You can get a restrictive covenant recorded to the title of the affected property.

    If a neighbor isn’t willing to allow the encroachment (which they often don’t want), you need to go through a variance process. This requires a Licensed Hydrogeologist and alternative construction methods. We highly recommend you consult with us before you start the variance process or hire any contractors.

    How do I start the permit process?

    We recommend you work with your septic designer. The individual well siting and construction application outlines all requirements. Pierce County Planning and Public Works needs to review your site plans for Critical Areas. We must receive their sign-off with your application to prevent delays and additional fees.

    How do I find Critical Areas on my property?

    Find the critical areas mapped on your property on Pierce County GIS. Search your address or parcel, and click on the “About My Property.”

    If any of the following site constraints are labeled with anything other than “No” email your site plans for review and sign-off:

    • Fish and wildlife habitat.
    • Resource land.
    • Wetlands.

    • Erosion hazard.
    • Landslide.
    • Mine hazard.
    • Right-of-way needs area.
    • Volcanic hazard.

    • Flood.
    • Floodway, possible.

    • Development moratorium.

    What do you require to permit my well?

    Permitting to construct an individual well happens in 2 phases:

    1. Siting—proposing and review of the location of the well.
    2. Construction.

    Complete our Individual Well Guide and Application:

    Use only page 1 as a guide for what we require with your application.


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