How to Determine the Location of Abandoned Wells

Written by louis gutierrez
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How to Determine the Location of Abandoned Wells
Proper steel covers ensure no one falls into the wells. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Finding old abandoned wells can let you tap them as a water source alternative to the local water source or even plug them properly to avoid any accidents. The problem with finding old abandoned wells is they can be difficult to locate if no records were kept on their location. Luckily, many times the abandoned wells can be located by knowing how to look for the signs of an old well without having to hire professional help.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shovel

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  1. 1

    Look for physical evidence of the well. Look for windmills, hand pumps, steel or plastic covers, water system components (pressure tank, pump, control box), pits in the yard or basement, out buildings, and circular depressions. There are other physical signs of determining the location of a well but these are the most common signs to locate the well.

  2. 2

    Inspect all the physical signs you locate. Use the shovel to dig any covered areas that appear suspicious. Make sure you are careful when digging into the ground as you can fall into the well.

  3. 3

    Talk to previous owners or neighbours and ask if they know the location of the well.

  4. 4

    Call the local building department and ask them for a copy of the survey of the property. The survey of the property will identify any wells that where visible during the survey. It is very possible that during the survey the wells where not visible and they did not mark it during the survey. Do not assume that because the well is not located in the survey, it does not exist.

  5. 5

    Contact a water well contractor to locate the well if you cannot locate it. If you found the well and you wish to plug the well you must also contact the contractor to plug the well legally.

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