Must Read before decommissioning your water well

Every year, across the state, people and animals fall into abandoned water wells. These falls usually result in injury, and sometimes death. Any well, if not properly constructed or maintained, can pose safety and environmental problems.  Children, adults, and animals face a risk of injury or death if they fall into these wells.

Washington state law requires property owners to properly decommission abandoned groundwater wells. 

  • The landowner may be responsible for any injury or occurrence of groundwater contamination caused by an abandoned well not properly decommissioned.
  • Decommissioning of an abandoned well often means filling the entire casing of the well with concrete, but this or any decommissioning work must be done by a water well driller licensed in Washington state.

Cost of Decommissioning A Water Well

Costs to decommission wells will vary depending on the depth, diameter, and geology of the area. Special equipment may be required to remove old pumps and pipes from the well.

Your well driller will remit an intent of “Notice of Intent to Decommission a Well” to the Department of Ecology at least 72 hours in advance of the work along with a $50 fee for the decommission.