Abandoned Well - Edwards Aquifer Authority

Abandoned Well

Abandoned wells are much like straws capable of delivering contaminants directly into the underground resources where water is stored. The EAA’s Abandoned Well Program helps identify and address abandoned water wells located within the aquifer system. Currently, within the jurisdictional boundary of the EAA, over 6,000 Edwards Aquifer wells reside in EAA databases. The EAA also has information on over 2,400 plugged wells within that same area. Confirmed abandoned wells comprise about 300 of the 6,000 known Edwards Aquifer wells.

Under EAA rules, wells that have been abandoned must be addressed to avoid creating a pathway for pollution into the aquifer. Older wells are particularly vulnerable since they often have been inadequately sealed or may have deteriorated well casings. Improperly plugged wells may also cause aquifer contamination.

There are two basic ways to stop the threat of contamination. A well can be capped if there are plans for using it in the future or it can be plugged and sealed permanently. EAA staff can guide owners through the process of identifying and, if necessary, properly closing a well. Programs are available for those who need financial assistance to cap or plug abandoned wells. Additionally, the EAA may provide services such as camera work to help determine the condition of a well.

Abandoned Well Initiative

A well is a direct conduit for contamination from the surface to the fresh water supply in the Edwards Aquifer.

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