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Well Water Safety

Well Abandonment

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment Well Regulation 903/90 Amended to O. Reg. 128/03 stipulates that the well owner is legally responsible for plugging the well. The manner in which the well can be plugged is also identified in this legislation. Section 21 states "When a well is to be abandoned, it shall be plugged with concrete or other suitable material so as to preclude the vertical movement of water or gas in the well between aquifers or between an aquifer and the ground water surface."

Abandoned WellWhen should well abandonment be considered?

In general, you should consider abandoning and plugging a well if the following conditions are found to exist:

  • A new well is drilled
  • The well is no longer being used
  • The well is producing poor quality water, e.g., high salts or sulphur compounds

A MOE-licensed well contractor should be hired to undertake the proper abandonment of any well.

Well Well with Water

There may be various funding opportunities available to private well owners to aid in the financial costs of abandoning a well. Contact your local Ministry of the Environment or Ontario Federation of Agriculture Office for further information.