Monitoring Well Program Description

The Office of the City Engineer Branch is designated by The City of Houston to administer and enforce city ordinances pertaining to the construction, alteration, maintenance, and destruction of monitoring wells and soil borings within the city's right of way.

The goals of the Office of the City Engineer Branch's Monitoring Well Program are:

  • To permit the drilling, installation, and destruction of borings and wells within the city right of way.
  • To educate the public regarding potential monitoring well hazards within the city right of way.
  • To minimize any risks to public health with compliance in bringing deficient monitoring wells within the city right of way to proper standards.

These are accomplished by compliance with City of Houston CODE OF ORDINANCES, Chapter 40, Article XII, Sections 40-281 though 40-310 (click link below to access).

Any mechanical device or monitoring well and its associated apparatus, placed within a public street, and designed and constructed to measure or monitor the quality or movement of foreign substances, elements, chemicals, fluids, or pollutants below the surface of the ground; or any mechanical device, method, or apparatus, placed in a public street and designed and constructed to obtain a sample soil core boring from a depth of greater than one foot below the surface of the ground, for the purpose of removing soil for environmental quality testing.

Generally, monitoring wells and borings are constructed to observe conditions at defined or required locations. Monitoring well locations are usually selected on the basis of known or expected hydrologic, geologic, and water quality conditions and the location of pollutant or contaminant sources. Frequently, monitoring wells need to be located close to or within areas of pollution or contamination. Proper design and construction of monitoring wells is essential for the acquisition of reliable subsurface data and representative samples.