Welcome to RMA

The Resource Management Agency strives to ensure that its customer service standards are consistent with the Agency’s Mission Statement:

The mission of the Resource Management Agency, in cooperation with the public and our partner agencies, is to protect the consumer and community’s health, safety, and environment by carrying out adopted laws and policies, and educating, assisting, and empowering Ventura County residents and businesses to be good stewards of the land and our resources.


In addition, RMA has identified those core values which will guide us in carrying out our mission. These values are directly related to our customer service and include:

  • Honesty, hard work, and ethical behavior

  • Transparency and accountability

  • Equitable treatment and respect of all constituents

  • Excellence in service delivery

drinking water

The Environmental Health Division (Division) Drinking Water Program staff certifies individual potable water sources (private, onsite water well) and oversees the regulation of state small water systems. Division staff will perform site inspections, review water sample results, and issue operating permits for state small water systems in Ventura County.

Information on COVID-19 and Tap Water

The Division does not issue well drilling permits. For information on well drilling permits and well pump-and-recovery tests, please contact the Ventura County Public Works Agency, Groundwater Resources Section: https://www.vcpublicworks.org/wpd/groundwaterresources/

Water Program Staff Specialist

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 Drinking Water Program Fees


The County of Ventura has set up a process to assist survivors of the 2017 Thomas Fire and 2018 Woolsey-Hill Fires in their rebuilding efforts. If your rebuild includes the use of a private well for domestic water supply, please review the following handout:

Recent testing conducted on drinking water sources in post-wildfire areas in Northern California have revealed the presence of a volatile organic compound (VOC) called benzene. Although testing your private well for benzene is not required as part of the Certification of Water Quality, you may want to independently test your water for benzene or other VOC’s. For more information please check out the following links:

What is potable water?

The 2019 California Plumbing Code defines potable water as "water that is satisfactory for drinking, culinary, and domestic purposes and that meets the requirements of the Health Authority Having Jurisdiction." The Environmental Health Division has established minimum requirements for individual water systems and state small water systems based on California Plumbing Code, California Health and Safety Code, California Code of Regulations (Title 22), Ventura County Building Code, and Ventura County Ordinance Code.

Drinking Water Program Fee Schedule

Individual Water Systems

An Individual Water System refers to a system which supplies drinking water to 1-4 service connections, and serves potable water to less than 25 people annually.

How Do I Certify My Water Well?

1. Submit a completed Certification of Water Quality Application, along with the applicable fee

2. Water quality analysis (see page 2 of Certification of Water Quality Application). Water samples must be analyzed by a State Certified Laboratory.

PLEASE NOTE: State Certified Laboratory personnel must collect the water samples for analysis. Water quality results must be sampled less than one year from the time of submittal. Provide chain of custody documentation with the analytical results.

3. A plot plan, drawn to scale, identifying the location of the water well, all water lines, water tanks, all structures, septic systems, animal pens, etc. on the subject property.

4. If the water well is shared, a shared water well agreement. This agreement must be recorded on the property deeds for both the supplier and the supplied parties. Please review this public information handout on Shared Water Well Agreements for more information. 

5. A water well pump-and-recovery test report approved by Ventura County Public Works Agency, Groundwater Resources staff. Pump tests which have not yet been approved by Groundwater Resources will not be accepted. 

        6. A site visit is conducted prior to final approval. The well must be functional at time of inspection. 

PLEASE NOTE: After the Certification process, this Division has no regulatory oversight for private, individual water wells to ensure ongoing water quality standards are met.  We recommend regular maintenance of the well, water system components, and the surrounding area, as well as routine monitoring of water quality to ensure the water well continues to provide safe and potable drinking water. Please scroll down to the bottom of this webpage to view helpful resources for private well owners. 

State Small Water Systems

A State Small Water System has 5-14 service connections and does not regularly serve drinking water to more than an average of 25 individuals daily for more than 60 days out of the year (CA Health and Safety Code section 116275(n)). State small water systems require an annual permit to operate, and are inspected for construction and maintenance compliance. They are also required to submit bacteriological and chemical water analyses for ongoing water quality monitoring. 

How Do I Become a State Small Water System?

1. Applicants must complete and submit a permit application to purvey domestic water along with the plan review fee. This is required for all new state small water systems, and may be required for existing state small water systems making changes, modifications, alterations, and/or additions to the water source, method of treatment, and/or distribution system (including the addition of service connections or water customers/users).

2. Submit water quality analytical results, including Bacteriological, Primary and Secondary Inorganic, and Primary Organic drinking water standards as described in California Code of Regulations Title 22, section 64431-A, section 64442, section 64444-A, and section 64449-A and B.

California state statutes and regulations pertaining to state small water systems may be found here.

Routine sampling of the water supply is required for state small water systems. The frequency of routine sampling is based on state regulations, initial water quality analytical results, and subsequent water quality analytical results. 

NOTE: All water purveyors, including state small water systems, must have an accepted Water Availability Letter, or WAL, on file with the Ventura County Public Works Agency before any will-serve letters will be accepted by that purveyor for building or discretionary permits. Requirements in the VCWWM are enforced by the Ventura County Public Works Agency, Land Development Services.

Click here for Free Small Water System Webinars offered by US EPA. 

Public Water Systems

A Public Water Systems has 15 or more service connections, or regularly serves at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year (CA Health and Safety Code section 116275(h)). These systems are permitted and regulated by the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water. Public Water Systems have three legal distinctions:

  • "Community Water System" means a public water system that serves at least 15 service connections used by yearlong residents or regularly serves at least 25 yearlong residents of the area served by the system.

  • "Non-transient, Non-community Water System" means a public water system that is not a community water system and that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons over six months per year.

  • "Transient, Non-community Water System" means a noncommunity water system that does not regularly serve at least 25 of the same persons over six months per year.

This means that even if your water system has only one connection, if 25 or more people are served by the water system, you would be defined as a transient or non-transient public water system and must obtain a permit to operate from the State Division of Drinking Water.

Not sure what type of water system you are? Check out this Decision Tree for Classification of Water Systems and review this handout: "What is a Public Water System".

The Environmental Health Division does not issue permits to, regulate, or inspect public water systems. All questions and complaints related to a public water system should be directed to the water purveyor or to the State Division of Drinking Water.  

State Division of Drinking Water, District 06 office:
118 Eugenia Place, Suite 200
Carpenteria, CA 93013
(805) 566-1326

Resources for Well Owners

Looking for a California State-certified laboratory to analyze your water well? Check out the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program  interactive map! 

Well Completion Report (also known as Water Well Driller’s Report or Well Log) are maintained by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). 

Click on the links below for more information and recommendations related to well construction and maintenance:

What are PFOA and PFOS?

The following information was obtained from the State Water Resources Control Board:

"Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are fluorinated organic chemicals that are part of a larger group of chemicals referred to as per-  and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). These manmade substances have been used extensively in consumer products such as carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food, and other materials (e.g., cookware) designed to be waterproof, stain-resistant or non-stick. In addition, they have been used in fire-retarding foam and various industrial processes. People are exposed to PFOS and PFOA through food, food packaging, consumer products, house dust, and drinking water." 

Please visit the following links for more information about PFOA and PFAS:

Drinking Water Wells and Oil/Gas Production

Volatile organic chemicals, otherwise known as VOCs, are carbon-containing compounds that evaporate easily. VOCs are used in a wide variety of human activities, including oil and gas production. If you own a water well in an area where oil and gas production activities take place, you may want to test your water for VOC’s. For more information, check out the Volatile Organic Compounds & Drinking Water FAQ Sheet

Not sure if your property is located near an oil/gas production field? Check out the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) Well Finder

Information on Groundwater Quality in Ventura County

Interested in water quality in Ventura County? Check out the following links!

More Helpful Drinking Water Links