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Home Owners
On Well Water


How to properly protect your well...

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The casing of a properly protected well should extend at least 8 inches above the ground. In potential flood areas, the top of the well casing should be 2 feet above the highest known floodwater elevation. The ground surface should slope away from the well at least 6 inches in the first 10 feet to prevent water from ponding around the casing. A pitless adapter is used to extend the casing above the ground level (for access and aquifer protection) while providing, to the home, a discharge below the frost line. One type of pitless unit is shown in figure 3.1. State or local health departments may have stricter requirements for well protection.

Before pitless adapters, well pits were commonly used to provide a discharge below the frost line. Experience has shown that well pits are unsanitary, because water collects in them and can enter the water supply through an improperly sealed casing. Animals may find their way into the pits, increasing the risk of contamination. In addition, the wet environment of a well pit may accelerate deterioration of the pumping equipment.

The top of the well casing should be covered with a sanitary seal, an approved well cap, or a pump mounting that completely covers the well opening. The well cap should be vented, with the outlet facing the ground. The outlet should be covered with a fine mesh screen or filled with fiberglass wool. The vent outlet should be 2 feet above the highest known flood elevation or 8 inches above the ground surface in areas that are not flood prone.

To prevent surface water from entering groundwater through the space between the well casing and the frill hole, a cement or clay grout should be installed beneath the pitless adapter. This is shown in figure 3.1. Filling the space between the well bore hole and the casing with soil or cuttings is not a suitable substitute for grout; surface water will flow through the soil or cuttings and may contaminate the well.

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