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Water Quality

Sealing Unused Wells


Unused or abandoned wells are a potential threat to health, safety and the environment.  These wells are often sealed to reduce these risks. The State of Minnesota has required that abandoned or unused well be sealed by a State of Minnesota licensed well contractor.

When a well is not being used, it must be brought back into use, sealed, or annually permitted as an unused well.  Under Minnesota State law, a seller failing to properly disclose a well is liable for well sealing costs for up to six years after the date of the sale.

A well must be sealed if it meets any of the following conditions:

  • Is not in use
  • Is contaminated
  • Was improperly sealed in the past
  • Threatens the quality of the groundwater
  • Poses a health or safety threat


Sealing is the process of clearing debris from the well and filling it with grout. Don’t try to do it yourself. A licensed well contractor has the legal authority, necessary equipment, and expertise to properly seal unused wells. The well contractor will complete all the necessary paperwork including permits. The contractor provides the well owner a Well and Boring Sealing Record that is a legal document for the sealing of the well.

Well Sealing Grant Program
Property owners in Dakota County may be eligible for a grant to help pay the cost of sealing their well.

Priority will be given to wells located in well seal grant targeted areas, which are groundwater protection areas defined by cities and the Minnesota Department of Health to protect public water supply wells from contamination. To determine if your well is located in a targeted area, see the Well Seal Grant Targeted Areas map or locate your property in the GIS interactive map. Turn on the layers, select the Utilities layer, then select the Well Seal Grant Targeted Areas layer.

If your well is not located in a well seal grant targeted area, you will be placed on a waiting list, and you may be eligible for a grant after July 1, 2015. Dakota County will notify you in writing if you have been placed on a waiting list.

To apply, the well owner must submit a completed application and grant agreement to Dakota County Environmental Resources.

Funding is limited and not everyone applying for a grant will be successful. 

For more information, call Vanessa Demuth at 952-891-7010. Read more information in the steps to apply for a well seal grant.

Find a licensed well contractor.

 

Last updated: 1/12/2015 2:35 AM