> For Private Well Owners > How can I protect my private water supply?
You can protect your water supply by carefully managing activities near the water
source. For households using a domestic well, this includes keeping contaminants away from
sinkholes and the well itself. Hazardous chemicals also should be kept out of septic
- Periodically inspect exposed parts of the well for problems such as:
- cracked, corroded, or damaged well casing.
- broken or missing well cap.
- settling and cracking of surface seals.
- Slope the area around the well to drain surface runoff away from the well.
- Install a well cap or sanitary seal to prevent unauthorized use of, or entry into, the
- Disinfect drinking water wells at least once per year with bleach or hypochlorite
granules, according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Have the well tested once a year for coliform bacteria, nitrates, and other constituents
- Keep accurate records of any well maintenance, such as disinfection or sediment removal,
that may require the use of chemicals in the well.
- Hire a certified well driller for any new well construction, modification, or
abandonment and closure.
- Avoid mixing or using pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, degreasers, fuels, and other
pollutants near the well.
- Do not dispose of wastes in dry wells or in abandoned wells.
- Do not cut off the well casing below the land surface.
- Pump and inspect septic systems as often as recommended by your local health department.
- Never dispose of hazardous materials in a septic system.