Posted on: 18 September 2017
The average well lasts for many years, but not forever. When a well is emptied, or will no longer be in use, it is the responsibility of the property owner to take action. Failure to abandoned a well the correct way opens the door to many hazards and concerns.
Personal Safety Risks
In essence, water wells are large holes in the ground. With many wells measuring tens of feet in depth, any individual or animal that falls into an abandoned well can suffer serious, if not fatal, injuries. This is especially the case when it comes to wide diameter wells. Only covering the well with soil is not enough. As soil moistens and the wind blows, it can shift and lose some of its stability.
For an active well that is being abandoned, failure to take proper measures opens the door to environmental hazards. Even a small amount of a chemical or toxic solution that trickles into the well can contaminate the sub-layer of water known as the aquifer, possibly contaminating all the groundwater in the vicinity. Should a well be constructed in the vicinity in the future, there is the risk that the water that travels through this well will also be contaminated.
Local Municipality Penalties
Depending on the location of your property, failure to properly secure an abandoned well can also open the door to penalties from a local governing body. These penalties often take shape in the form of a fine. However, if someone is injured on the property or your actions lead to the contamination of groundwater, you could face further penalties that come along with harsher consequences.
Taking Proper Steps
In terms of ensuring safety, well plugging is the best method. Well plugging prevents physical safety hazards and prevents groundwater contamination. This process involves more than simply covering the top layer of the well. It instead closes the portal, or opening, at the base of the well. Clay, gravel, sand, sodium bentonite or a combination of these materials are placed over the opening of the well to close it off. Which mixture you should use has to do with the makeup of the soil in your area. So, for the most effective plugging, it's best to rely on a professional.
If there is a well on your property that you are no longer planning to use, ensure you're taking action by having the well plugged by a professional, such as from Robinson Water Well . This keeps you safer as well as the community around you.Share