Neighbor Notification and Water Sampling

 Contents:

How Neighbor Notifications Work

Prior to performing well stimulation treatment on an oil or gas well, well operators are required to hire an independent third party to identify property owners or tenants of property located within a 1500 foot radius of the wellhead or within 500 feet of the surface representation of the horizontal path of the subsurface parts of the well. The third party agency then sends the identified owners and tenants a Well Stimulation Treatment Neighbor Notification Form, which indicates, among other things, the earliest date upon which the well stimulation treatment may be performed. Well stimulation treatment cannot commence until at least 30 days after all required notices have been provided.

This advance notice provides an opportunity for certain neighboring property owners or tenants whose property contains an existing water well or surface water suitable for drinking or irrigation purposes to obtain water quality testing.

How Water Quality Testing (Sampling) Works

Testing is performed both before ("baseline testing") and after ("follow-up testing") the well stimulation treatment.

Property owners have the option of requesting that the operator of the oil or gas well arrange and pay for water quality testing, while tenants may arrange for such testing at their own expense. Property owners may alternatively elect to arrange for their own water quality testing and will be reimbursed for all reasonable costs by the well operator, provided that the testing is performed by a Designated Contractor for Water Sampling approved by the State Water Resources Control Board (a link to a list of approved contractors is provided below).

If the property owner requests that the well operator arrange for water quality testing, well stimulation may not commence until after baseline testing. However, the operator is only required to delay treatment to accommodate baseline testing if the request for testing is postmarked or transmitted by email to the operator within 20 calendar days from the date the Neighbor Notification was deemed provided, as indicated on Page 3 of the Neighbor Notification. The owner must make necessary accommodations to enable the collection of baseline measurements without undue delay. The operator will arrange for follow-up testing after the well stimulation treatment is finished.

When a property owner or a tenant arranges for their own water quality testing, the property owner or tenant is responsible for ensuring that baseline testing is performed prior to the scheduled well stimulation treatment. The owner or tenant should still inform the operator that the owner or tenant is arranging for testing, as this will prompt the operator to notify the owner or tenant when the well stimulation treatment is finished. After the well stimulation treatment, the owner or tenant may arrange for follow-up testing.

An example request form is available for property owners and tenants to use when requesting water quality testing. The form is available at: Request for Water Testing. However, this form is not required and owners/tenants are free to request testing through other written communication.

A list of Designated Contractors for Water Sampling approved by the State Water Resources Control Board for purposes of the water quality testing described here is available on the website of the State Water Resources Control Board.

Third-Party Agencies - Forms and Where to Send them

The template for Neighbor Notifications can be dowloaded here:

The Declaration of Notification forms can be dowloaded here:

Neighbor notification documentation must be emailed with the appropriate subject line as follows:

  • Declaration of Notification (when blue tabs are used):
    • Format: Declaration_[District]_[Field Name]_[Operator Name]_[Date of Submission]
    • Example: Declaration_4_South Forty_BigTimeOilCompany_07012015
  • Statement of No Neighbors Identified (when green tabs are used):
    • Format: NoNeighbor_[District]_[Field Name]_[Operator Name]_[Date of Submission]
    • Example: NoNeighbor_4_South Forty_BigTimeOilCompany_07012015

Declaration of Notification forms and associated required documents from 3rd parties must be emailed to:

Where to Send Water Testing Information

Results of all water testing should be sent to: