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Capping a well

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  • Capping a well

    Anybody ever capped a well? I have an old water well that needs to be capped. It has an eight inch steel casing. I was thinking of cutting it down two to three feet below grade and welding a plate to the top of the casing. Just thought I'd see if anybody had any tricks up their sleeves on this one. SSS

  • #2
    Before capping the well, you need to check for state and local water district codes in your area for the proper method of capping a well. In Texas, the standard rule on the books is to remove as much of the surface completion as possible to 2 to three feet below the surface or to below maximum plow depth. The well should be filled with cement or cement/bentonite slurry from bottom to within 10 feet of the desired bury depth via a trimmie tube. A ten foot plug of cement is then used to seal the top. With steel casing, the casing can have a cap welded on after the hole has been properly plugged.

    Cementing a hole from the bottom up can be very expensive. One water district has a rule in place for capping that is more affordable and easier to do. If the well to be abandoned has standing water in the well, chlorinated gravel can be placed until it is above the standing water level in the hole. Then a bentonite plug is placed above the gravel. The rest of the well can be filled to 15 feet of the desired buried depth with drill cuttings, soil, or other clean earth. Then another bentonite plug is placed and the plugging is complete with a cement plug for the final 10 feet. For wells with plastic casing, mushroom the cement plug over the top. For wells with steel casing, a cap may be welded on after plugging is complete. If the well is dry, no standing water, the land owner does not have to place the chlorinated gravel in the bottom.

    Check for state and local water district rules for plugging and capping holes in your area. In Texas, plugging and capping can be done by licenced drillers, pump installers or the land owners themselves, but the rules for plugging must be followed by whomever does the work. This is done to protect the landowner, his neighbors, and the water that we all use.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info. With that in mind, I may just steer away from the whole thing. I was just going to do it for a friend of mine and to be honest hadn't really thought it completely through. My extent of well expirence is changing one submersible pump a few years ago. I'll do some checking with the city and see if they can direct me in the right heading for local regs. Thanks again..SSS

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      • #4
        A little more info

        Ok, I don't want anybody to think I'm just randomly doing well work....this was on some property that I was helping clear. We "found" it with a dozer after somebody else had attempted to cap it and left it behind. I want to make sure that it is taken care of in the best way possible. After all, water is everybody's responsibillity! SSS

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