Three Reasons to Properly Plug and Seal Your Well
Many landowners have wells on their property that are no longer in use. Some are forgotten, some are inherited from previous owners and some are kept for “just in case” scenarios.
An unmaintained, unused well is a risk for any landowner. Here are three good reasons to properly plug and seal your well.
- Drinking Water Protection
Unmaintained wells present a contamination risk to groundwater. With time and neglect, a well’s condition will decline. The formation of cracks in well casings, deteriorating well caps and exposure to runoff can lead to pollutants such as chemicals and bacteria entering the ground water used for drinking water supplies.
Unused large diameter wells also pose a danger to people and wildlife who may fall into them. There have been a number of cases where people have been trapped or injured falling into old, open wells.
A landowner can be liable for accidents caused by an open well or if an unmaintained well contaminates groundwater. Well owners are required by law to abandon their wells if they’re not being used or maintained.
Well owners should hire a licensed well contractor in accordance with O. Reg. 903 to properly plug and seal their unused well(s). Funding for each of the following programs is contingent upon the use of a licensed well contractor.
Well Abandonment Programs
- Peel’s Private Well Abandonment Program: The Region of Peel provides full funding for eligible decommissioning projects. There is no cost to participate in this program.
- Halton Region’s Residential Well Decommissioning Grant Program: Halton Region provides a grant that covers 50 per cent of the total cost up to a maximum of $1,000 per well.
- The Wellington Rural Water Quality Program provides funding to decommission eligible wells in Wellington County. Funding ranges from $1,500 for non-farm properties to $2,500 for farm properties.
- The Dufferin Rural Water Quality Program provides up to $1,000 to decommission eligible wells in Dufferin County.
- CVC’s Landowner Action Fund (LAF) also provides funding for well decommissioning projects, with grants of 50 per cent of eligible costs up to $1,500.
In some cases, funds can be combined to further reduce the cost of well abandonment. Contact our stewardship team for help getting started with a well assessment, farm site visit, or property action plan.
For more information on how to reduce the risk to your drinking water check out Ontario’s best practices guide for source water protection.
Your Countryside Stewardship Team