When it comes to wells that are no longer used or can no longer have groundwater pumped from them in usable quantities, it’s essential to have them sealed and abandoned. These abandoned wells could cause potential safety hazards or groundwater contamination, so having them shut down and decommissioned is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and neighbors from accidents and contamination-related illnesses.
Here are some reasons to seal these abandoned wells and what can be done about them.
Reasons to Seal an Abandoned Well
Here are some of the top four reasons your abandoned well should be sealed up for good!
- Avoid groundwater contamination: Abandoned wells that have not been properly sealed provide a direct channel for contaminants to move into aquifers being used to supply drinking water.
- For your safety: Abandoned wells are dangerous to people and animals because many are open holes in the ground that may be hidden by rotten wood covers or vegetation.
- Liability issues: A landowner can be held liable for accidents or groundwater contamination caused by an improperly sealed abandoned well.
- Responsible transfer of title to land: A person that purchases land containing an abandoned well is responsible for sealing the well or can be found liable for any damages related to the well. A reliable transfer of title should include disclosure of all wells, operational or sealed.
Signs of an Unused Well on Your Property
To get started on getting these spots sealed, landowners will first need to find the location of any out-of-service or old wells. Here are some signs that can lead you in the right direction:
- Pipes protruding from the ground
- Small buildings that may have served as a well house
- Depressions on the earth
- Concrete vaults or pits covered by lumber or metal plates
- Out-of-use windmills and pumps, or additions to older homes – which were typically located close to a well
Steps we Take to Help
Luckily, Easterday-Wilson’s certified State Water Specialists are here to help! Most states and counties require any old or unused well be abandoned or sealed by licensed contractors like us. While well sealing is relatively brief, it can be a meticulous process. Here are the steps we take:
- Our crews first remove all pumps and pipes from the well
- If possible, we remove all casing, liners, and screens
- Starting from the bottom and moving up, we fill the well with gravel and bentonite, or occasionally concrete
- When the well has been sealed, we will send certified documents to the owner, county, and state
Contact Us For All Your Well Sealing Needs
Easterday-Wilson Water Services is an expert at sealing and decommissioning wells to avoid potential safety hazards and groundwater contamination. If you suspect you have an unused or abandoned well on your property, we can help. Call us at 301-831-5170 to learn more.