The Objective of Water Well Abandonment/ Decommisioning in MA and NH.

Many consumers do not understand the importance of water well abandonment also known as water well decommissioning. This Blog is dedicated to debuting the myth behind this often time confusing practice. The main concern regarding unused and/improperly abandoned wells is simple these wells are a direct and significant threat to the ground water quality and supply of other water sources.

The reasoning behind why these wells are being taken out of service can vary however  typical reasoning includes:

  • Well fails to meet state and local guidelines
  • Failure to produce safe water quality
  • Well being replaced due to low production, collapse or septic failure and redesign
  • Homeowner connects to municipal water supplies
  • Site and resident being reconstruction and currently well resides withing construction parameters
  • Well has been out of service for more than one fiscal year

An improperly abandoned well can be a direct source of surface water contaminants entering into the ground water table. When a well is taken out of service proper water testing protocols are no longer followed. The potentially contaminated  groundwater flowing through this improperly abandoned well enables an open Chanel of flow through the aquifers enabling contamination to other neighboring wells. Many consumers are under the assumption that you can just cut the casing below grade and bury the well this is alarming and dangerous. Everything from fuel spills fertilizers etc can then leach into that well and into the water table and the only person responsible for that situation is you.  Once a well has been abandoned in this method its near impossible for local and state authorities to then determining outbreak issues in correlation to the epidemic at hand, however when their records indicated that you have a well on your property it will have to be located and  uncovered and properly abandoned.Its very possible that if this is the case that fines and liability will soon ensue if it is determined that the well was not properly abandoned.

The method a well is abandoned is usually dictated by local and state authorities and the methods can vary greatly from townto town particularly in Massachusetts. Typical practice is to use a bentonite chip or pumped bentonite grout which creates an impermeable seal. Typically the top of the well is then cut down below surface and sealed with a cement seal but again this varies depending on authority requirements. The cost of abandonment can vary contractor to contractor and is usually bid in either a price per foot or flat rate package. To ensure no hidden costs be sure to ask the contractor you choose if there pricing reflects the cost to pull the existing pumping system out of the well. At Northeast Water Wells Inc we are dedicated to consumer education if you have any further questions in regards to Water Well Abandonment please don’t hesitate to call and speak with one of our professionals today.