Groundwater Management


  • Groundwater Management
  • (941) 742-5980
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This section protects groundwater and drinking water though proper construction of water wells and proper management of hazardous materials and pollutant storage tank systems. This is accomplished through inspections and permitting of water wells, annual inspections of pollutant storage tanks, and compliance assistance to owners of hazardous waste facilities.

Groundwater Data Access

Search and retrieve Manatee County and State records for permit and compliance inspections of regulated storage tanks, hazardous waste facilities and water wells. Both recent and historic data are available through the links provided. 

County investigations of citizen-reported environmental complaints for the years 1983 to 2007 may also be retrieved below. Investigations by all Environmental Protection Division program areas are included - Air, Groundwater. Mining, Watershed and legacy programs. 

Disclaimer: Historic data are provided for general information only as a public convenience. The Board of County Commissioners of Manatee County are not liable for misuse of these records. State agencies maintain the official records for all of these programs.

Hazardous Waste (Small Quantity Generator (SQG)) Data

SQG Drums

Compliance files for Hazardous Waste Facilities. This data includes all electronic documentation associated with inspections conducted by Manatee County at businesses and other locations for compliance with State/Federal hazardous and oily waste regulations.  Likewise, cleanup information and other DEP inspections, particularly at large quantity generators, can be found at the link.

Searching Manatee County inspection records. The search box to the upper left of the record listing performs a full-text search. County inspection records are organized in subdirectories by the State-issued 6-digit facility ID number. One directory is used for each facility. Directory names include an abbreviated facility name in addition to the facility id number. You may find the facility ID number for an existing facility by using the DEP link. Or, you may search for the business name. Many facilities in the County records are historic or closed facilities and may not appear in current DEP records.

Search Manatee County SQG Inspection Records (*Opens in New Tab)

Search FDEP OCULUS (*Opens in New Tab)

Pollutant Storage Tank (PST) Data

Pollutant Storae tank

Compliance files for Pollutant Storage Tank Facilities.This data includes all electronic documentation associated with inspections conducted by Manatee County at state regulated storage tank sites.  The data is arrange by facility ID # and can be searched by that number or facility name.  The data is generally limited to files generated after 2005 and in no way represents all available documentation for a given facility.  Historical data and additional information regarding discharges and cleanup are housed with the DEP.  See link below.  Please note that the an advanced search screen is available at the link.

Searching Manatee County inspection records. The search box to the upper left of the record listing performs a full-text search. County inspection records are organized in subdirectories by the State-issued 6-digit facility ID number. One directory is used for each facility. Directory names include an abbreviated facility name in addition to the facility id number. You may find the facility ID number for an existing facility by using the DEP link. Or, you may search for the business name. Many facilities in the County records are historic or closed facilities and may not appear in current DEP records.

Search Manatee County PST Inspection Records (*Opens in New Tab)

Search FDEP OCULUS (*Opens in New Tab)

Water Well Permitting Data


Historical Water Well Construction files. This data includes all well permits, completion reports, and related paper documents scanned into files arranged by Section/Township/Range.  Subdirectories are ordered by Township/Range which include individual Section files.  Documents go back to the 1960's.  More recent permit data can be found at the SWFWMD link below.

Searching Manatee County permitting records. The search box to the upper left of the record listing performs a full-text search. County permitting records are organized in subdirectories by Township and Range of the Public Land Survey (PLS) system. Within each subdirectory are PDF files containing scanned paper records from each Section in the Township with permitted activity. PLS data are available from commercial map books, deeds, survey records or tax assessor records. Manatee County water well records are very old. Current well permitting records are available from SWFWMD.

Search Manatee County Water Well Permit Records (*Opens in New Tab)

Search SWFWMD Well Construction Permit Records (*Opens in New Tab)

Complaint Investigations

Mill Creek

Historic Complaint investigations. This data is in the form of scanned paper records and includes citizen-reported environmental complaints for all Environmental Protection Division programs from 1983 to 2007. More recent records are only available at the Environmental Protection Division office at the Manatee County Administration Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. West, Suite 203, Bradenton, FL, 34205.

Searching Manatee County investigations. Records are organized into subdirectories by calendar year. Consult the index files to determine which complaint investigations may be of interest and note the complaint number in the first column. Complaint numbers are in the format of "YYYY-NNN" where the first set of digits indicate calendar year and the second set is a serial number. Note that newer complaints have a field labeled "STR" which indicates the approximate Section, Township, and Range of the complaint location in the Public Land Survey system (cardinal suffixes are omitted).

Index of Complaint Investigations in an Excel Spreadsheet (Excel)

Index of Complaint Investigations in a Comma Separated Value Text File (CSV)

Search Manatee County Complaint Investigation Records (*Opens in New Tab)

Text search features in application software will facilitate searches.

Hazardous Waste (Small Quantity Generator, SQG) Program

This program handles inspections of all businesses with the potential to generate hazardous waste. Business owners seeking information on proper management of hazardous and oily wastes should follow the link for additional information.

The Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department (PNRD), Groundwater Management Section, maintains an inspection program for small businesses that have the potential to generate hazardous waste. This program is mandated under Florida Statutes, Sections 403.7234 and 403.7225, and requires local governments to assist business owners in the management of hazardous and regulated wastes. 
There are over 2000 businesses in Manatee County on the SQG list, including print shops, boat builders, automotive and body shops, and a host of other industries. Examples of common waste streams include waste oil, spent solvents, filters, and fluorescent bulbs, just to name a few. Our inspections are typically unannounced and require owners/operators to produce disposal records and provide access to the entire facility. Each site is inspected every 5 years or less based on a priority system.

Hazardous Waste (SQG) Program FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Small Quality Generator program and waste management for facility owners.

  • What are the main functions of the SQG Program?

    The primary function of the SQG Program is inspecting facilities to ensure that they properly manage and dispose of hazardous waste. These inspections are typically done periodically and are unannounced. The program also provides information and training to SQG generators on how to reduce or eliminate hazardous waste and investigates citizen complaints.

  • What is an SQG (Small Quantity Generator)?

     A business, government entity or other facility that generates more than 100 kilograms (about half a 55 gallon drum) but less than 1000 KG (about five 55 gallon drums) of hazardous waste in any one month. Examples are:

    • Vehicle Repair Shops
    • Boat Builders
    • Electroplaters
    • Paint and Body Shops
    • Dry Cleaners
    • Pest Control Companies
    • Photo Processors
    • Medical Facilities
    • Furniture Refinishers
    • Laboratories
  • What at my business is considered "Hazardous Waste"?

    Products containing hazardous materials that have been damaged during shipment, discontinued supplies, products having an expired shelf life, discarded paints, spent solvents, waste degreasers, cleaning compounds, or byproducts of chemical processes can be considered "hazardous waste". Your business also may have a waste that is listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as being hazardous waste, or it may possess one of the following characteristics: Ignitability, Corrosivity, Reactivity, or Toxicity.

  • How do I identify my wastes?

    All generators of waste materials are required by law to identify and evaluate their waste. The following steps are suggested for identification:

    • Check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for product information
    • Check with your supplier/manufacturer.
    • Read the product label.
    • Compare product information with the listed wastes and hazardous waste characteristics in 40 CFR 261.

    If product information is not available, your only alternative is to have a commercial laboratory sample and test your waste.

  • Now that I have established my business as an SQG, what must I do?

     Use a multiple copy manifest,

    • Obtain an EPA/DEP identification number,
    • Accumulate no more than 6,000 kilograms (13,200 pounds)of hazardous waste for longer than 180 days,
    • Implement a Preparedness and Prevention Plan,
    • Use a DEP-approved transporter for off-site shipment of hazardous waste,
    • Dispose hazardous waste only at a permitted RCRA facility,
    • Maintain a copy of the manifest for a period of three years,
    • File an exception report if a copy of the manifest is not returned from the disposal facility within 60 days of the date the waste was shipped.
  • The SQG requirements seem extensive. What other options can I consider?

    Your best strategy is to reduce or eliminate waste, thereby changing your generator category. Here are some simple suggestions:
    • Measure and control use of materials. This can be as simple as setting a limit on the number of rags to be used on each job or as complex as instituting a pharmacy system for materials distribution.
    • Inspect incoming materials. Defective goods are more easily returned upon delivery than at a later time.
    • Use a “first-in, first-out” inventory method to eliminate outdated materials.
    • Keep lids closed on anything that can evaporate.
    • Recover, recycle, and reuse waste on site.
    • Participate in a waste exchange (link

    A Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) generates no more than 100 KG (about half a 55 gallon drum) of waste in any one month. As a CESQG, you are only required to ensure proper disposal of hazardous waste and keep documentation of the disposal.

  • What is a Material Safety Data Sheet?

    Some hazardous wastes are chemicals that require Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS); which must be obtained from the manufacturer at the time any hazardous chemical is purchased. The purpose of the Material Safety Data Sheet is to familiarize the user of chemicals to any hazards associated with that chemical. MSDS contain valuable information such as:

    • The identity (trade name) on the label
    • Physical and chemical characteristics
    • Physical hazards, including the potential for fire, explosion, and reactivity
    • Health hazards, including signs and symptoms of exposure
    • Primary routes of entry (inhalation, ingestion, absorption, and injection)
    • General precautions for safe handling and use, including hygienic practices and procedures for a cleanup of spills and leaks
    • Emergency and first aid procedures
  • What is a hazardous waste manifest?

    A hazardous waste manifest must accompany most hazardous waste that is shipped off site. The Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest is the shipping document that travels with hazardous waste from the point of generation, through transportation, to the final treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF). Each party in the chain of shipping, including the generator, signs and keeps one of the manifest copies, creating a "cradle-to-grave" tracking of the hazardous waste.  EPA ID numbers are needed by all parties on the manifest.

  • Can I throw used oil filters into my regular garbage?

    No. They should be completely drained of any free flowing oil (preferably “hot drained” and crushed). Place them into a weather tight container marked "Used Oil Filters". They can be hauled to an approved facility and disposed there, or you can contract with a specialty transporter to have them hauled to an appropriate facility.  Maintain a disposal receipt at your facility.

  • I have two locations for my businesses. Can I keep all my records together in one location?

    No, each location must maintain separate records documenting disposal/recycling process. If you have a different billing location that needs the receipts make a copy for yourself. Keep all records on site for three years.

  • I use green tip "environmentally friendly" fluorescent bulbs. Can they be put in the regular trash?

    All fluorescent bulbs/devices are considered hazardous waste because they contain the heavy metal mercury. Green tipped light bulbs may have a smaller amount, but they still contain mercury. Lamps or devices with any mercury must be recycled under the Universal Waste Rule or be counted as a hazardous waste by the generating facility.

  • I put my used antifreeze directly in with my used oil. Is this correct?

    No. All waste should be stored separately. Never mix any potential hazardous waste with another waste. If the antifreeze happens to be hazardous it would contaminate the entire container of used oil leaving the responsible party with hazardous waste to dispose of, which is much more expensive. Keep all wastes separate with the correct labels.

  • I use acetone (or any solvent) on disposable rags and throw them out when they are dry. Is this a proper disposal method?

    No. Even though the rags are dry they still contain hazardous waste.   Do not use disposable shop rags in certain processes at your facility. If you do use disposable rags and they are contaminated, they must be stored and disposed of as hazardous waste.  Another option is to contract with a uniform/shop towel service that will supply you with clean rags on a regular basis. These contractors are permitted by state and local agencies to process/wash the rags, which are considered a recyclable item. Used rags should be placed into a properly labeled, closed-lid container. Keep all receipts for a minimum of three years. Do not mix rags together with different wastes into the same storage container, as they may be reactive to one another and become a fire hazard.

  • What containers need to have labels?

    All containers that hold waste must have the proper label (e.g. USED OIL, USED OIL FILTERS, USED ANTIFREEZE, HAZARDOUS WASTE). The label must include:

    ·         The words “Hazardous Waste-Federal Law Prohibits Improper Disposal. If found, contact the nearest police or public safety authority or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency”;
    ·         Generator’s Name and Address;
    ·         Manifest Document Number.
    ·         The container should also include a description of the waste and the date the waste was first put into the container (accumulation start date).
  • If I take my used oil to an auto parts store for community collection, how can I prove it?

    Keep a logbook at your business that records the date, amount taken and what location the oil was taken to. Used oil is not a hazardous waste as long as it never hits the ground and is properly recycled though a documented process.

  • How do I dispose of my "household hazardous wastes" such as unwanted pesticides, paints, etc.?

    The government does not regulate hazardous wastes generated in the home. Paint products, pool chemicals, household cleaners, and pesticides are typical examples. When disposed of in the municipal solid waste stream or otherwise improperly managed, these materials have the potential of contaminating the groundwater - our drinking water supply.  To reduce impacts to our groundwater, Manatee County operates a household hazardous waste collection center. For information on hours for drop off, call the Solid Waste Division at 792-8811.

  • Where can I find a good source for additional information on Small Quantity Generator requirements?

    Download the document entitled “Florida’s Handbook for Small Quantity Generators of Hazardous Waste”   Any business owner may contact PNRD to schedule a compliance assistance visit.

Pollutant Storage Tank Program

storage tank

This program handles inspections of pollutant/petroleum storage tanks, such as those located at retail gas stations. Individuals seeking information on potential petroleum impacts from such facilities or contractors working on such systems in Manatee County should follow the link for additional information.

The Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department (PNRD), Groundwater Management Section, contracts with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to inspect all petroleum storage tanks in Manatee County. Facilities with underground storage tanks having a capacity of greater than 110 gallons and above-ground storage tanks over 550 gallons are inspected annually. Typical sites include retail gasoline stations, private businesses, and agricultural operations. Currently, there are over 350 regulated facilities in Manatee County. 

The primary focus of this program is to protect groundwater from being contaminated with petroleum or other pollutants and to assist facility owners and operators with maintaining compliance.

All underground storage tank systems must be double-walled by December 31, 2009, to meet the state's upgrade schedule.

Pollutant Storage Tank FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Pollutant Storage Tank program for tank owners.

  • What is the County storage tank law?

    Manatee County does not have its own storage tank rule. PNRD is under contract with the Florida Department of Environmental protection for the inspection and regulation of regulated storage tank systems in the County. The applicable rules are Chapter 62-761 and 62-762, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), Florida Administrative Code (*Opens in New Tab).  These are the statewide petroleum storage tank codes for Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs), respectively.

  • Why are pollutant storage tanks regulated?

    During the mid 1980’s, it was acknowledged that Florida had a serious threat to its ground water resources from leaking petroleum storage tanks.  Florida relies on groundwater for approximately 92% of its drinking water needs.  Since one gallon of gasoline can potentially contaminate one million gallons of groundwater, it is not difficult to understand the immense threat to the environment and public health.  Currently there are 972 regulated tanks at 387 facilities in Manatee County. Over 500 discharges have been reported in Manatee County since the late 1980’s.

  • Does PNRD have any special permit or plan review requirements for installation, repair, and/or removal of storage tanks and associated systems?

    PNRD reviews installations and closures as part of the normal building department review.  Smaller tanks not regulated under FAC are required to meet the installation requirements for regulated systems. Remember to contact PNRD 30 days, 48-hours, and 24-hours prior to any installation, repair, or removal activities as required under Chapters 62-761 and 62-762, FAC.

    Contractors must have a special license issued by the State in order to install, remove or perform repairs to an underground tank system. A Closure Assessment must also be performed whenever a tank is removed from a site with no previous contamination history.    
  • What kinds of tanks are regulated?

    Underground tanks greater than 110 gallons and aboveground tanks greater than 550 gallons, which contain regulated substances, are subject to the storage tank rules. These substances include gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, new and used oil, pesticides to be applied off-site and many industrial solvents. Unregulated tanks include those at private residences which are not used commercially, septic tanks, heating oil tanks and temporary use aboveground tanks.

  • What are some general requirements for new and existing storage tank systems?

    All new and replacement storage tank systems must have secondary containment, and all remaining single-wall systems must replace their systems with secondary containment by 12/31/2009. Both underground and aboveground tank systems must also be constructed with these features:

    • Overfill and spill containment protection to prevent discharges when the tank is filled.
    • A leak detection system for both tanks and piping which is monitored at least every thirty days.
  • How do I get rid of a heating oil tank at my residence?

    These tanks are unregulated, meaning a licensed contractor is not required for removal. However, tank removal is a hazardous undertaking and spills or leaks must be cleaned up in accordance with the State petroleum cleanup rule (Chapter 62-770, FAC). Therefore, care must be taken during removal to ensure the safety of the contractor and homeowner and to prevent spills. We recommend that experienced tank contractors be used for the job. 

  • What kinds of spills require cleanup?

    You must report sheen or free product in the water or soils on or near a regulated facility (one with regulated storage tanks), the results of analytical data from soil or groundwater showing concentrations of regulated substances above State guidelines, or the release of 25 gallons of petroleum or petroleum products to soil or other pervious surface, regardless of the source. If, after a spill or release is reported, DEP determines a contamination problem exists, as defined in Chapter 62-770, FAC, cleanup will be required.

  • How do I report a discharge?

    • Petroleum discharges greater than 25 gallons to land from a regulated storage system within Manatee County should be reported to NRD.  The responsible party (RP) or its agent must then file a Discharge Report Form (DRF), FDEP Discharge Reporting Form (PDF)), DEP Form # 62-761.900(1), within 24 hours of discovery of the confirmed discharge.
    • Discharges of petroleum not associated with a regulated storage system, non-petroleum discharges (e.g. hazardous waste), or discharges to water must be reported to State Warning Point at 1 (800) 320-0519.  Environmental crimes (e.g. illegal dumping) can also be reported by dialing *DEP on your Sprint or Nextel phone.
    • All emergencies (e.g. truck overturned, leaking drums, etc.) should be reported immediately to State Warning Point at 1 (800) 320-0519 and/or the local fire department (9-1-1). 
  • Who is responsible for cleanup?

    The property owner is ultimately responsible. All owners or operators of regulated systems are required to provide $1,000,000 in cleanup and third party liability coverage for releases. In addition, the State has offered a variety of “amnesty” and assistance programs over the years. Under the conditions of these programs, the State agrees to perform assessment and cleanup at participating sites, after the owner pays a variable deductible fee, dependent on when participation in the program began and for which specific program the owner is eligible. The eligibility dates for all but one of these programs has expired. If you are not now participating, you are not eligible. The Indigent Owner program still exists. Under it, the Department will make arrangements to assist owners in performing cleanup activities and arrange equitable repayment schedules if they are unable to pay for the cleanup themselves.

  • Where can I find a good source for additional information on petroleum storage tanks and petroleum cleanup regulations?

    Download the documents entitled “Your Petroleum Storage Tank Facility Inspection Guide” and “Guide to Florida’s Petroleum Cleanup Program” from the following link: Additional Information on FDEP Regulations (*Opens in New Tab).

Water Well Permitting Program


This program handles water well construction permitting and inspections. Individuals needing information on existing wells or contractors drilling in Manatee County should follow the links below for additional information.

The Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department (PNRD), Groundwater Management Section, has a formal agreement with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) to issue well construction permits and inspect the construction of those wells in accordance with SWFWMD Chapter 40D-3. Permits are required for domestic, irrigation, and most other water wells. We are currently receiving about 400 permits annually.
A 24 hour advance notification is required for all drilling. The advance notification phone # is: (941) 742-5980, ext. 1871 or 1872.
You may also email notifications to: [email protected]

Water Well Program FAQs for Property Owners

  • What types of wells require a construction permit from Manatee County PNRD?

    A well construction permit is required for any well constructed/drilled within the boundaries of Manatee County, including shallow irrigation and domestic wells that are two inches or less in diameter.

  • Can I drill my own well?

    No. All wells must be constructed by a licensed water well contractor. The only exception to this law is for a water well two (2) inches or less in diameter constructed by an individual for his/her own private use on his/her owned or leased property. The individual must meet all applicable well construction standards.

  • Can you recommend a good contractor?

    No. Selecting a well contractor is owner’s responsibility. As with all hiring, consider the companies' experience and reputation. Ask for references, an itemized estimate, proof of liability insurance, repair policies, and related certifications. Review the contractor’s file at PNRD for information regarding their compliance history.

  • How do I apply for a permit?

    A “STATE OF FLORIDA PERMIT APPLICATION TO CONSTRUCT, REPAIR, MODIFY, OR ABANDON A WELL, FORM 41.10 - 410 (1) REV.9/04” can be submitted directly to this office. However, contractors are encouraged to file online. More information regarding online permitting can be found at the following link: Online Permitting Access (*Opens in New Tab).
  • When is a Water Use Permit (WUP) required?

    A Water Use Permit (WUP) allows withdrawal of a specified amount of water, either from the ground or from a lake or river. Generally, this applies to wells 6” or greater in diameter or multiple wells with a cumulative outside diameter of 6”. Refer to the following web page for details: Water Use Permit (*Opens in New Tab).

  • Where should I place my well?

    A number of setbacks exist. For example, domestic wells must be located 75 feet from a septic tank or other sanitary hazards such as a stormwater retention pond. Irrigation wells must be 50 feet from a septic tank. More stringent setbacks are required for public supply wells. Generally, wells should be located to provide the optimum protection for the health of the user and the least threat of contamination to the water resource.

  • What is a Public Supply Well?

    This is a well that provides piped water for human consumption to a system that has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year. The construction requirements for public supply wells are more stringent.

  • How deep must my well be?

    Optimum depth varies by location. Information on other existing nearby wells may provide you with an idea of the depth needed in your area. This information is available by Section/Township/Range at the following link: Online Well Permit (*Opens in New Tab).

  • How do I know the water from my well is safe to drink?

    Periodic laboratory testing is the only sure way. Contractors typically chlorinate the well after construction. They can recommend different treatment options also to improve taste. For further information, contact the Manatee County Health Department at (941) 748-0747.

  • Where can I find a good source for additional information on Well Construction?