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Your help is needed to find abandoned wells to ensure they are secure
Why It Matters
- Abandoned Wells Impact Groundwater -Sacramento County relies on groundwater to supply half of its water needs. Water runoff which flows into abandoned wells can carry bacteria, sediment, fertilizer, pesticides and other pollutants directly into our groundwater. Residents may not know their drinking water is unsafe because many contaminants are not visible from looking at the water.
- Safety Hazard-There are abandoned wells as small as 8 inches wide that children and animals can fall into causing injury or death. Open pit wells and large-diameter drilled wells are particularly hazardous and often are hundreds of feet deep.
How to Identify Abandoned Wells
Abandoned wells can be found on any type of property including: farms,
industrial, vacant lots and even residential homes. Some signs of abandoned
- Disconnected power pole
- Protruding pipes or casing in the ground
- Old water tanks
- Concrete stand pipes
How to Make Abandoned Wells Safe
Our objective is to get the wells into compliance with Sacramento County
Codes. There are three options for abandoned wells:
- Repair them so that they are operational
- Inactivate them if they will be used in the future
- Properly destroy them (A special contactor, known as a C-57 well contractor will be needed for repairs and destructions). View USDA Well Destruction Video Updated 01/25/2012
A permit application is required for any of these three options. Well Application and Permit Form.
How to Report Abandoned Wells
If you know of any wells that have not been in use for over a year, wells
that have had their pumps removed, are unsealed, abandoned, or improperly filled
(e.g. with dirt) or you need assistance locating them on your property, leave a
message on the abandoned well hotline: 916-875-8532 or email EMDemail@example.com.
If you prefer to remain anonymous, use this “Plot Plan
Sheet for Abandoned Wells”, indicate the well’s location on the plot plan,
and mail to this office attention "Abandoned Well Program".
Resources and Information
For more program information, please contact:
Sacramento County Environmental Management
11080 White Rock Rd., Suite 200
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670