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"Cap It, Plug It!" Protect Your Groundwater

Aug 30, 2017

Join the Peoria City/County Health Department in observing Protect Your Groundwater Day on September 5, 2017. The National Groundwater Association chose “Cap it, Plug it!” as the 2017 theme to highlight the importance of ensuring your private water well is properly capped and that all abandoned wells on your property are properly plugged.

Why is water well capping and plugging so important to groundwater? Water wells provide a direct connection between what is above the ground and the groundwater in the subsurface or below the ground. If an active well is not properly capped, or if an abandoned well is not properly plugged, it can create a direct pathway for contamination in the same groundwater you and others use for your drinking water supply. If you own a household well, you are responsible for making sure that your well is properly capped and any abandoned wells on your property are properly plugged.

How do I know if my well is properly capped?

  • the well cap is bolted or locked, not just tight fitting
  • the well cap is not cracked or otherwise damaged (if so it should be replaced)
  • the well cap rubber seals are maintained in good shape to block contamination
  • the well cap is installed or removed only by water well professionals for servicing
  • the well cap and well system is disinfected if removed for any reason

How do I know if I have an abandoned well on my property and how do I properly plug it? Finding abandoned wells on your property may be a challenge. Some abandoned wells are obvious while others are not. Closely survey your property for abandoned wells that may be near old pipes sticking out of the ground, small buildings that may have been a well house, depressions in the ground, the presence of concrete vaults or pits, or out-of-use windmills. If you find an abandoned well, your next step is to contact a licensed water well contractor to seal the well in accordance with state code.

For more information on wells and groundwater, visit The Groundwater Association at http://wellowner.org . For more information about Public Health issues visit the Peoria City/County Health Department website at www.pcchd.org.

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