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Well Retirement

Wells that are no longer in use must be retired. Old wells can cause liability issues for the landowner if the well is putting neighboring wells at risk through groundwater contamination. One of the biggest problems with old wells is that they can be forgotten and left to further deteriorate, causing a potential hazard. Wells that are no longer in use must be retired in order to:

  • Protect ground water from surface contamination
  • Protect vertical movement of water between aquifers
  • Eliminate a potential safety hazard for humans and wildlife

Water wells need to be filled-in and sealed properly. Depending on the state, homeowners are required to notify their local Department of Environmental Protection or Water Quality Division to document the retirement of the well. Homeowners are urged to contact these agencies in order to learn the required procedures in their area. For more information on retiring/decommissioning a well, visit Wellowner.org’s Old/Unused Wells.

Wells can be difficult to retire, and usually only a well water systems contractor has the correct equipment. A well water systems contractor will be able to provide more information on plugging unused wells. and should also have knowledge of well decommissioning (retiring) code requirements. To locate a contractor, visit the link below or contact your local health department or the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.

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