How can I find out if I have a well on my property that is not in use and not sealed?
Whether the property is located in the country or in town, it could have one or more wells on it which are not in use and not properly sealed. If the property is in town, there may be one or more wells that were used before City water became available. To locate old wells, it may be helpful to:
  • Find out when your home was built and when public water was first available in your area. If the house was built before public water was available, then there was likely a well or wells on your property.
  • Find out when your home was built and when your in-use well was drilled. If your house was built before your in-use well was drilled then there was likely another well or two on your property.
  • Look for any physical evidence of a well on your property. You can often see the casing of an unused well sticking up out of the ground. Look for a metal pipe - typically from 1¼ inches to 6 inches in diameter. Wells that were dug, rather than drilled, may appear as a ring - made of concrete, tile, bricks, or rocks - in the ground or in a well pit. The ring could be anywhere from 12 inches to 36 inches in diameter, or even larger. A windmill, an old shed that was used as a well house, or an old pump may mark the location of a well. A metal or concrete cover or manhole may mark the location of a well pit. A depression in the ground may indicate a buried well or well pit, and a constant wet area may be caused by a flowing well that hasn't been sealed. If you had a well inside your home, it may consist of a pipe sticking up out of the floor. This pipe may possibly be stuffed with rags or “capped” with a cement plug and could be a well casing. Wells were often housed in a "basement offset", which is a small room attached to the basement often located under concrete steps. A glass block or steel plate fitted into a step, or a concrete patch in a step, could be the access hole for the well.
  • Consult with former owners of your property, or people who have lived in the area for a long time. They may remember the locations of old wells.
  • Ask well drillers about old wells that they may have constructed or repaired on the property.
  • Look at old photos of your property which may show an old windmill, houses, barns, or outbuildings where a well may have been located.
  • Consult City and County records of building and land use permits which may reveal well locations.
  • Consult City and County historical documents which may also provide information about development and land use.
  • Look at the old fire insurance drawings (i.e. Sanborn Maps, etc.) often available at local historical societies. These documents often record the location of wells.

Show All Answers

1. Is there any financial assistance available for well sealing?
2. When is a Well Disclosure required?
3. Who can seal wells?
4. How can I find out if I have a well on my property that is not in use and not sealed?
5. How much does it cost to seal a well?