Well Maintenance, Repair, and Sealing A Well and Boring Sealing Record must be on file with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for a well to be considered legally “sealed.” Contact the MDH to verify that a sealing record is on file. The highlights: All terms are negotiable except your name and property description. There are millions of them all over the United States. Test the tap water at least once for lead, which may be leached from the plumbing system, or flush standing water from the lines before drinking as a precaution. Failing those things, the only way to determine the well location is to follow electrical lines and pipes from the house to the well. The well should be disinfected and then retested to confirm that the water no longer contains coliform bacteria. If you lease or sell rights to drill oil, gas or other minerals on your land, you can earn royalties on the proceeds as well as a signing bonus. The permit has an annual renewal fee and is only approved if the well is structurally sound, and is in a safe, sanitary location. Royalties -- your portion of the well proceeds -- are usually paid within 30 days of production and every 30 days thereafter. Can a well be located inside a building? Typically, this type of well was located below the front or back steps, and a glass block or access port was often built into the steps to allow access to the well. Water testing laboratories can also be located by looking in the yellow pages under “Laboratories, testing.”. However, many lending institutions may require testing, typically for coliform bacteria and nitrate, as a condition for approving a loan for the purchase of the property. Go to our directory of licensed well and boring contractors. What is well disclosure? If the seller does not disclose a known well, or the seller does not properly disclose the known status of a well to the buyer, the seller may be liable to the buyer for costs related to sealing the well and reasonable attorney fees if an action against the seller is commenced within six years after the closing of the sale of the property. The buyer should ask for copies of well construction records (Well and Boring Records) and well sealing records (Well and Boring Sealing Records), water testing reports, and repair or maintenance records. Wells are also constructed for irrigation, livestock watering or other agricultural purposes, commercial/industrial purposes, monitoring water quality or water levels, or dewatering for construction. Drinking water should be tested by an MDH accredited laboratory to perform the requested test(s). You can lease or sell the mineral rights to an oil or gas company, giving the company the right to build a well on your land. A well that is disclosed as “capped,” “plugged,” “filled,” or “abandoned” is not the same as a well that is “sealed.” A well is “capped” if it has a metal or plastic cap, or a watertight fitting or pump, which is threaded, bolted, or welded into the top of the well to prevent entry into the well. If the status of a well is “sealed,” a licensed well contractor has completely filled the well by pumping an approved grout material under pressure throughout the entire well after removal of all pumping equipment and any obstructions or debris from inside the well. What if a well cannot be found? A well cannot be located, for example, within a separate section or corner of a shed, garage, or other building. A contractor prepares to cut off the top of a coal bed methane well near Gillette, Wyo., in 2015. If these searches are inconclusive, contact a licensed well contractor or geophysical company that specializes in locating wells. You may want to get more than one estimate for the cost of sealing the well. Is the water from the well required to be tested at the time of property transfer? However, your neighbors are not apt to cheer if you're hosting an oil or gas well on your land. Older wells were sometimes terminated in well pits below the frost line (usually 5 to 8 feet deep) to prevent freezing in winter. Also, well pits can flood and contaminate the well. The property owner is responsible for the testing, maintenance, repair, and sealing of any well(s) on the property. Your surface rights remain under your control, excluding the part you've leased for well access. If all search efforts are unsuccessful, contact the MDH to discuss the procedures and conditions for obtaining a variance from the well sealing requirements. The city enacted new safety regulations in 2009 that allowed drilling within 200 feet of a residential water well -- less with the water-well owner's written permission. Most homes will have drilled wells, but occasionally you will run across a home with a dug or bored well. And that means digging. View: A well is basically a hole that has been drilled, bored, washed, pushed or dug into the ground to access water in the ground or “groundwater.” A well is held open by a pipe, known as a “casing,” that extends to an aquifer. The status of a well is its operating status or condition and can only be one of the following: “in use,” “not in use,” or “sealed.”. Does the state require that wells be inspected at the time of property transfer? The cost to repair a well may be greater than the cost of permanently sealing the well, depending on the work needed. Unless you measure your land in square miles, you probably won't own the oil well on your property. If you lease your mineral rights, you may receive an attractive signing bonus as well as royalties from the well activity on your property. A “drive point,” also known as a “sand point,” is a well that is a The Well Management Section can also be contacted by phone to determine if a well disclosure certificate has been filed and to obtain a copy of the certificate. There is no state requirement for a well to meet the well code at property transfer. Testing for other contaminants may be warranted in specific situations. An old well that has been put back into use does not have to meet all requirements of the present well regulations (brought up to the current well code), but any repairs or modifications to an existing well must meet the requirements of the current well construction standards. Current rules do not allow a well to be constructed inside a building, or a building to be built over a well, except for a wellhouse that is exclusively used to protect the well, pump, and associated water treatment equipment. If E. coli, a fecal coliform bacteria, is detected in the well, there is a greater risk for disease, and a licensed well contractor should evaluate the well construction and determine the source of the contamination. What is the responsibility of the new property owner related to wells after the property is purchased? 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The costs for testing for total coliform bacteria, nitrate, arsenic, and lead are relatively inexpensive. Important things to review during an inspection are the isolation distances from potential contamination sources, and the adequate height of the well casing above the ground surface (at least 12 inches). The cost to seal a well can vary, although the cost may be higher in some situations due to the particular well construction, the depth and diameter of the well, removal of debris from the well, local geology, or problems with access to the well. In addition, limited grant and low-interest loan programs are available for well construction and repair. In some areas, you may face restrictions from zoning laws. Do your research about water in the area. First, a well disclosure statement must be made available to the buyer before a purchase agreement is signed. Who can construct and repair wells? That's according to a "Harvard Environmental Law Review" article by Ben Apple in September 2013. The certificate is filed with the county recorder or registrar of titles. The purposes of a SWBCA are to inform the public of potential health risks in areas of groundwater contamination, provide for the construction of safe water supplies, and prevent the spread of contamination by wells or borings. In Washington County, the seller must also disclose whether or not the property is located within a “Special Well and Boring Construction Area” (SWBCA). Talk with your local landman to learn more about oil rigs and property values in your community. How much does it cost to seal a well? If the status of a well is “not in use,” the well is not functional, cannot readily pump water, or has not been operated on a daily, regular or seasonal basis. Cost share grant money and other financial assistance is available in most Minnesota counties to encourage sealing “not in use” wells. Bill Gassett has been one of the top RE/MAX Real Estate agents in New England over the last decade plus. Well Inspection The age of the well should be verified, as wells do have a maximum life expectancy, but this varies greatly depending on materials used in construction, water chemistry, level of use, and other factors. More likely, if you have oil or gas under your land, you'll split your property into surface rights and mineral rights -- a so-called split estate. 5 tricks to finding an abandoned water well system on your property. A water well maintenance permit allows a well that is not in use to remain in that condition until the well is either put back into use or has been sealed by a licensed well contractor. No. The law requires that any person who constructs or repairs wells in Minnesota must be licensed, except that a property owner (or lessee) may construct or repair a well on his or her own land if the well is used for domestic or agricultural purposes. Well Disclosure Program The water should also be tested for nitrate before giving the water to an infant. When is well disclosure required? A well that is disclosed as “capped,” “plugged,” “filled,” or “abandoned” is not the same as a well that is “sealed.” A well is “capped” if it has a metal or plastic cap, or a watertight fitting or pump, which is threaded, bolted, or welded into the top of the well to prevent entry into the well.
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