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Commentary: Protect water; seal abandoned wells

Editor's note: The following was provided by the Todd County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Well sealing is permanently closing a well that is no longer used or is deemed unsafe. State law requires abandoned wells in Minnesota to be sealed. Well sealing involves clearing debris from the well and filling it with grout. This must be done by a licensed contractor.

An unused well can act as a drain, allowing surface runoff, pollutes water and improperly disposed of solid or other waste to contaminate groundwater. Sealing abandoned wells protects groundwater quality. It can also protect surface water quality in areas with spring fed streams, such as the karst landscape of southeastern Minnesota.

Well sealing is especially important in wellhead protection areas (areas that supply water to public wells and receive special attention from state and local agencies to prevent contamination of drinking water).

If you have an unused well on your property, contact Todd County Soil and Water Conservation District to learn more about receiving financial assistance to properly close your well at 320-732-2644.