Home Frequently Asked Questions

What is groundwater?

It is sometimes thought that water flows through underground rivers or that it collects in underground lakes. Groundwater is not confined to only a few channels or depressions in the same way that surface water is concentrated in streams and lakes. Rather, it exists almost everywhere underground. It is found underground in the spaces between particles of rock and soil, or in crevices and cracks in rock. The water filling these openings is usually within 100 meters of the surface. Much of the earth's fresh water is found in these spaces. At greater depths, because of the weight of overlying rock, these openings are much smaller, and therefore hold considerably smaller quantities of water.


Groundwater flows slowly through water-bearing formations (aquifers) at different rates. In some places, where groundwater has dissolved limestone to form caverns and large openings, its rate of flow can be relatively fast but this is exceptional..

Many terms are used to describe the nature and extent of the groundwater resource. The level below which all the spaces are filled with water is called the water table. Above the water table lies the unsaturated zone. Here the spaces in the rock and soil contain both air and water. Water in this zone is called soil moisture. The entire region below the water table is called the saturated zone, and water in this saturated zone is called groundwater.

What is an aquifer?

An aquifer is an underground formation of permeable rock or loose material which can produce useful quantities of water when tapped by a well.


Aquifers come in all sizes. They may be small, only a few hectares in area, or very large, underlying thousands of square kilometers of the earth's surface. They may be only a few meters thick, or they may measure hundreds of meters from top to bottom.

Do I need a permit for a water well in DeWitt County?

EVERYONE  in DeWitt County is required to file a permit request with the PVCD office before drilling a well. This keeps the District aware of the growth rate of new well drilling, location of the wells, and what current water levels can be maintained.

How much does a permit cost?
There is a $30.00 application fee required for exempt water wells. For non-exempt permit water wells please contact us at 361.275.8188.
Why is there a permitting procedure in place for a water well in DeWitt County?
While complying with the local water district rules requires extra effort on the part of drillers and landowners, it is an opportunity to exert some control over what happens in our county. The permit process is an effort to insure that we have a record of the drilling logs from which we gather information on the availability of water for the area, and maintain our well levels. If the District can determine that water is being depleted in an area of DeWitt County, we can then try to locate the problem and find a solution beneficial to all concerned..

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