A Short Guide to Water Well Abandonment

May 21, 2020 10:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When you have a well on your property, monitoring the water quality is part of your duties as a landowner. When a well on your property becomes contaminated, you’re obligated to either permanently abandon the well or repair it.

The water well abandonment process in Monroe, NC must be done according to a specific procedure in order for it to be considered “properly” abandoned. In short, that’s because improperly abandoned wells are a safety and contamination liability, which can affect the entire community.

Why do I have to properly abandon my well?

Using wells for household water supplies dates back centuries, which is why there may be abandoned wells on older or more rural properties. From the mid-19th century on, anytime a well was taken out of commission, its line would be severed and capped, and a new well was dug to supply the water line. In many cases, these wells were not properly plugged, which created a safety and contamination hazard—even worse, some of these wells were abandoned with pumps and other equipment dropped in and covered over.

This careless abandonment caused problems in two major ways. First, when a well is abandoned and covered over, vegetation tends to take over and people often forget the exact location of the well. When land is cleared for development, this can cause damage to equipment and cause unwanted complications. Second, forgotten, improperly abandoned wells can cause pollution between water sources, especially if a new well is drilled too close to a forgotten one.

Improperly abandoned wells can also cause problems for other landowners and wells when they’re not properly sealed—the confining pressure needs to remain at a certain level, or the water levels in other wells will drop.

What are the steps in properly abandoning a well?

Here’s a closer look at the four key steps involved in abandoning a well:

  • Remove equipment: All equipment, such as pumps, pipes, wires, check valves and other non-natural features of the well must be removed from the ground. If the well has any obstructions, those must also be removed before the well can be plugged. Generally, any licensed well drilling contractor will have the tools to perform this job.
  • Measure the well: Next, you’ll need to measure the well’s depth and diameter to determine how much plugging material you’ll need to properly plug the well. The type of material you’ll use depends on what kind of well you have.
  • Plug the well: Once you’ve determined what kind of material you need and how much of it to use, your well drilling contractor will perform the plugging process.
  • Submit the appropriate paperwork: Finally, you will submit paperwork verifying that you performed the water well abandonment process in Monroe, NC to the local health department, the well owner (if it’s not you) and the state. Record-keeping is key to avoiding issues with land development and aquifers.

Are you in need of a contractor to plug an abandoned well on your property? Love Well & Pump Supply, LLC is available to assist you—call today to get started.

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