Well Abandonment

Wells must be properly filled when removed from service.  Wells are removed from service for  a number of reasons.   Construction of a replacement well, razing of the building that the well was serving, the well is contaminated, failure of the well to meet the Wisconsin State Code.  Once a well is removed from service, it is seldom put back into service.  They often get forgotten after a property transfer, and in time may get covered over, without being sealed properly.

Sometimes in this way all traces of the old well disappears.  These wells can cause contamination to the groundwater.  In one recent case, a house burned down with an illegal well in the basement.  This was a point of entry into the surrounding aquifer for the ash-laden water from the fire.  This contaminated the neighbors well.  In another case, a buried well with just a stone over the top of the well casing, caused contamination to the surrounding neighbors wells from contamination from an animal yard and a nearby septic field.

Chapters NR-812 and NR-811 of the Wisconsin Administration Code, require the abandonment of all unused wells and boreholes.

Who can perform this work?

As of June 8, 2008, the Department of Natural Resources requires a licensed water well contactor or pump installer to abandon all water wells and boreholes in Wisconsin.


Where can I obtain additional Information?

Southeast District                            414-263-8500

2300 N. Martin Luther King Drive,

Milwaukee, WI 53212


South Central District                     608-275-3266

3911 Fish Hatchery Road

Fitchburg, WI 53711