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 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. Complete the application that applies to your well's location:
Well Sealing Grant Application - Mississippi East Wastershed Area: For wells located in Lilydale, Inver Grove Heights, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake or West St. Paul
Well Sealing Grant Application: For all other wells.
Once you receive an award letter (if eligible), then you may proceed with having the licensed well contractors seal the well.
For more information, call Vanessa Demuth at 952-891-7010.
Funding for the Mississippi East Watershed Area Well Seal Grant is provided through the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment, distributed by the Board of Soil and Water Resources to Dakota County.