Plugging An Abandoned Water Well

If a water well must be abandoned due to contamination or an inability to produce the volume of water required, the well can quickly transform from an asset into a liability. You don't want a human being or animal to inadvertently fall into the well and become injured, and you don't want the abandoned well to collapse over time and create a crater within your landscape.

Plugging an abandoned well is the best way to make these obsolete water sources safe. Here are three tips that you can use to ensure you properly plug an old water well on your property.

1. Always start the plugging process by measuring the well's water level.

Knowing how much water is in the well can be important when it comes to properly plugging an abandoned well. Since any water remaining in the well will need to be neutralized in order to prevent it from making the ground above the well soft after plugging, knowing the water level allows you to plan properly.

You will need to add a mixture of sand and gravel (which are both porous materials that can hold water in place) to the well that is equivalent to the amount of water that remains in the well. Use a weighted string to measure the abandoned well's water level before you begin plugging.

2. Add compacted natural clay to the abandoned well.

Once you have filled the well to it's existing water level with a sand and gravel mixture, you will need to fill in the remaining open space within the well. Adding compacted natural clay is a great solution for filling in an abandoned well.

Clay that has been naturally compacted will not settle over time, allowing you to determine exactly how much of this soil needs to be added to the well in order to fill it in completely. Clay also has the ability to absorb precipitation, preventing rainfall or melting snow from flooding the abandoned well in the future.

3. Seal the abandoned well with cement.

The final step in the plugging process should be the creation of a permanent seal made from cement. This cap not only allows you to easily locate the abandoned well if the need arises, but it also helps to prevent the sand, gravel, and clay from expanding too much over time.

A cement cap keeps the abandoned well firmly plugged, neutralizing any danger it may pose to passersby in the future.

Being able to properly plug an abandoned water well will help you prevent these wells from posing a safety hazard on your property. For more information, contact a company like Robinson Water Well.