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-Why Abandon Unused Wells Now?-

  • Here is a good reason why is it better to abandon used wells properly now. Because sooner or later they will have to be abandon for sale, resale, refinancing, or federal, state, or local law and code compliance.
  • This is one system that we abandoned in Milwaukee Wisconsin that was in trouble. As you can see from the pictures, this one didn't have long before it fell apart, leaving someone with a very expensive abandonment.
    This is a two pipe, deep well jet system. But its not its system type but rather the condition of it materials that matter here!
    Below you see the 1 1/4" pipe that came from the basement and screwed into
    the 1 1/4" tee in the well.

    pipe #1-1pipe #1-2off set casing diagram

    Below (left) you see the 1 1/4" tee that was in the well that #1 pipe was screwed into.
    -*Note the rotted threads on the top of the tee, making it impossible to remove system normally.- Next (middle) the foot valve fell apart as we laid the pipe on the ground.

    badtee 1 1/4 inch sizefoot valve from the bottom of the pipeOff set casing diagram

    Below (left) is what it looks like in the basement while taking it apart. Notice the 1" pipe that twisted off the elbow side of the well. In the 'center' is the elbow that pipe #2, the 1" pipe, twisted off of inside the well during removal.

    #1 Pipe in off set casing, 2nd pipe leaning on casing.1 inch elbow from inside wellOff set casing diagram

    Proper legal abandonment keeps these wells from haunting one later. So I hope from the pictures above you can understand that these systems continue to age and fall apart when they are not in use, until it gets to be quite expensive to repair or abandon. The system below weighted around 400 to 500lbs, amazingly it still held water all the way to the top. To view all the components that were hanging in the well, Click on this pop-up window.

    Author's note from approx. 15 years ago: This system cost $1000 to abandon because of the deterioration, normally it would have been around $652 for this well being over an hour away and 78ft deep. Yet it could have been as little as $463.33 for this depth and system type with a short drive time . But to dig it out would have ran $1500. And if it dropped.... "The sky's the limit" as they say, as after we try to fish it out, and if we can't, then we'd need a variance from the DNR to abandon it which would include filling it with cement from the bottom up instead of being able to use chipped bentonite from the top. And this doesn't count any contamination from pollution that it could have gotten while sitting. But note; If you are using your well most likely it should not be in too bad of condition, as long as it works properly.

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