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Abandoning a Well
 
abandon well

 


Hand dug and bored wells
 
Hand dug wells are usually three feet in diameter and lined with rocks. Bored wells are usually one foot in diameter and are cased with cement. Many times the casing of a bored well will extend several inches above the ground surface. They are typically found in the woods, adjacent to old homesteads, and on farms. The depth can vary, but most hand dug wells are 15 to 50 feet deep. Bored wells are typically 50 to 100 feet deep.  Open hand dug wells and bored wells are dangerous to adults, children and animals because of the wide opening and the depth of the hole. The open hand dug and bored well also provides a direct pipeline to the groundwater. The groundwater can become contaminated through storm water runoff or by individuals using the open well for waste disposal. It is also the law in North Carolina to properly close wells that are no longer in use.
 
How do I close a hand dug or bored well?
 
If there is water in the well it should be thoroughly disinfected with chlorine prior to being filled. The hand dug or bored well can be permanently abandoned by completely filling the well to land surface with cement, grout or dry clay compacted in place. A record of the well abandonment must be sent to North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources within 30 days of abandoning the well.
What about a Drilled Well?
 
Drilled wells are usually 6.25 inches in diameter and cased down to bedrock. Commonly  the casing will stick up several inches above the ground surface. They are typically found in the woods, in residential communities and on farms. The depth can vary greatly but most drilled wells are greater than 80 feet deep. Drilled wells are dangerous to small children and animals because of the opening and the depth of the hole. The drilled well also provides a direct pipeline to the groundwater. The groundwater can become contaminated through storm water runoff or by individuals using the open well for waste disposal. It is also the law in North Carolina to properly close wells that are no longer in use.
 
How do I close a drilled well?
 
The entire depth of the well casing should be sounded before it is sealed to insure that there are no obstructions that may interfere with the sealing operation. The well should be thoroughly disinfected with chlorine prior to being sealed. The drilled well can be permanently abandoned by filling the well with cement, sand or gravel opposite the zones of consolidated rock. The top of the sand or gravel fill must be at least five feet below the top of the consolidated rock, which is usually the casing depth. The remainder of the well shall be cement grout only. The outer well casing must be grouted to a minimum depth of 20 feet or removed prior to abandonment. A record of the well abandonment must be sent to North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources within 30 days of abandoning the well.


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