Repairs to groundwater bores and spears

You may need to repair or replace groundwater bores and associated equipment if they've been damaged by floodwaters. This information explains when you need a development permit before undertaking the work, and how to apply.

Repairing or replacing groundwater pumps

Pumps on groundwater bores or spears that have been covered by floodwater may need to be replaced.

You can replace a pump that has been damaged or lost due to flood without applying for a development permit.

De-silting bores and spears

You may need to undertake drilling operations to de-silt or clean out an existing bore or spear that has been covered by and open to floodwater.

You will need a development permit if these operations:

  • result in a change to the aquifer from which the works access water
  • or
  • interfere with groundwater.

Replacing a water bore

You may need to replace a water bore that has been damaged by floodwater.

Bores outside the Great Artesian Basin water plan area

If the replacement water bore is outside the Great Artesian Basin and other regional aquifers (GABORA) water plan area, the work is considered 'accepted development – without requirements' or 'exempt development' under state planning laws.

This means you do not need to apply for a development permit or ensure the works comply with accepted development requirements.

The replacement water bore must be within 10 metres of the location of the previous bore and tap the same aquifer tapped by the previous bore.

If the bore will be deeper than 6 metres, you'll need to make sure you employ a suitably licensed bore driller to supervise or carry out the activity. Find out more about bore construction and approvals.

If the replacement bore doesn't meet these conditions, contact your local business centre for more information.

Bores within the Great Artesian Basin water plan area

Subartesian bores

Refer to the Accepted development requirements for subartesian bores or replacement bores (PDF, 924KB) for subartesian bores connected to an artesian aquifer and managed under the GABORA water plan.

Artesian bores

All artesian bores in the Great Artesian Basin are considered an assessable development and require a development permit before work can start.

Contact your local business centre for more information.

Applying for a development permit

All assessable development requires an approval from the State Assessment and Referral Agency.

Find out more about how to apply for a development permit.

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