How To Get Rid Of An Old Water Well


You may be wondering why it’s necessary to get rid of an old water well. After all, it’s just sitting there, unused and forgotten. However, old water wells can pose serious safety and environmental risks if left untreated.

In this article, I will guide you through the step-by-step process of properly assessing, obtaining permits, hiring professionals, removing equipment, and sealing the well cavity. By following these detailed instructions, you can ensure the safe and responsible disposal of your old water well.

Key Takeaways

  • Assess the condition of the water well by inspecting the well cap and casing, testing water quality, and checking the well pump and electrical system.
  • Research local regulations, obtain necessary permits, and hire a licensed well contractor to ensure compliance with legal requirements.
  • Consider the expertise and equipment of a professional well contractor over DIY alternatives to prioritize safety and proper well closure.
  • Properly remove water well equipment, dispose of it according to regulations, and seal and backfill the well cavity to prevent collapse and ensure environmental friendliness.

Assessing the Condition of the Water Well

You should start by checking if the water well is still functional and in good condition. Evaluating the maintenance and potential contamination of the well is crucial.

Firstly, inspect the well cap and casing for any signs of damage or corrosion. A damaged cap or casing can lead to water contamination and should be replaced.

Next, test the water quality by taking a sample and sending it to a certified laboratory for analysis. This will determine if the water is safe for consumption or if it contains harmful contaminants.

Additionally, assess the condition of the well pump and electrical system. Check for any leaks, unusual noises, or fluctuations in water pressure. If any issues are found, it may be necessary to repair or replace the pump.

By thoroughly evaluating the condition of the water well, you can make informed decisions on how to proceed with getting rid of it.

Obtaining the Necessary Permits and Permissions

Before you begin, research the specific regulations in your area regarding the elimination of a former water well. It’s crucial to obtain permits and meet legal requirements when getting rid of an old water well. The process may vary depending on your location, so consult with local authorities or regulatory agencies to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.

Typically, you’ll need to submit an application for a well abandonment permit and provide detailed information about the well, such as its location, depth, and construction details. Additionally, you may be required to hire a licensed well contractor to perform the well abandonment and provide documentation of the work done.

Following all legal procedures is essential to ensure the safe and proper elimination of the old water well.

Hiring a Professional Well Contractor

To properly eliminate a former water well, it’s important to hire a professional well contractor who can handle the job. A well contractor will have the necessary expertise and equipment to safely dismantle and fill the well, ensuring it meets all regulatory requirements. They will also be familiar with local regulations and can obtain any necessary permits or permissions on your behalf.

When considering the cost of hiring a professional, it’s crucial to weigh the potential risks and complications that may arise from attempting a DIY alternative. While hiring a professional may seem like an additional expense, it can save you time and money in the long run by avoiding potential legal issues or accidents.

It’s essential to prioritize the safety and proper closure of the well, and a professional well contractor can provide the expertise needed to achieve this.

Removing the Water Well Equipment

When hiring a professional well contractor, it’s important to ensure they have the expertise and equipment necessary to safely remove all the equipment from the well.

The process of removing the water well equipment involves several steps to ensure proper disposal and minimize the environmental impact.

First, the contractor will disconnect all the pipes, fittings, and valves from the well. They will then carefully remove the pump and motor, making sure to drain any remaining water.

The removed equipment will be properly disposed of according to local regulations and guidelines. It’s crucial to choose a contractor who is knowledgeable about the disposal options available and follows environmentally-friendly practices.

By doing so, you can ensure that the removal process is done correctly, minimizing any negative impact on the environment.

Properly Sealing and Backfilling the Well Cavity

Once the water well equipment has been removed, I make sure that the well cavity is properly sealed and backfilled to prevent any potential contamination. This is crucial for protecting groundwater and ensuring compliance with well abandonment regulations.

To start, I thoroughly clean the well cavity, removing any debris or sediment that may have accumulated over time. Next, I insert a well cap or plug into the opening of the well casing to create a tight seal. This prevents any surface water or foreign substances from entering the well.

After sealing the well, I carefully backfill the cavity with clean, compacted materials such as bentonite clay or grout. This helps to stabilize the well and prevent any collapse.

Finally, I ensure that the wellhead is clearly marked and any access points are securely locked to prevent unauthorized entry. By following these steps, I ensure that the old water well is properly sealed and backfilled, minimizing the risk of contamination and meeting the necessary regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it typically cost to get rid of an old water well?

The cost estimation for getting rid of an old water well depends on several factors such as the well’s depth, location, accessibility, and the amount of debris and materials that need to be removed.

Can I remove the water well equipment myself or do I need to hire a professional?

I would recommend hiring a professional for water well removal. DIY water well removal can be dangerous and complex, requiring specialized equipment and knowledge. Professionals ensure a safe and efficient process, saving you time and potential risks.

Are there any potential environmental concerns associated with removing an old water well?

Oh boy, potential environmental concerns with removing an old water well? You betcha! It’s crucial to follow proper disposal methods to prevent contamination. Consult a professional to handle the job safely and responsibly.

How long does the process of removing and sealing a water well usually take?

The removal timeline and sealing process of a water well usually depend on factors such as the depth of the well, the materials used, and the complexity of the job. The process can typically take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

What are the potential risks or challenges involved in removing an old water well?

The risks involved in removing an old water well include potential damage to surrounding structures, contamination of groundwater, and the challenge of safely removing and disposing of well materials. Careful planning and adherence to regulations are necessary to mitigate these risks.


In conclusion, getting rid of an old water well is no small task. It requires careful assessment, obtaining the right permits, and hiring a professional well contractor.

But fear not, for once you have successfully removed the water well equipment and sealed the well cavity, you will have closed the chapter on this aging relic.

About the author

James is a dedicated researcher with a profound passion for studying water. Over the years, he has delved deep into understanding the complexities and intricacies of water, both scientifically and environmentally. His relentless pursuit of knowledge in this field has equipped him with insights that he generously shares on this blog