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wells & Water Supply
  • A well is a drilled hole that taps into the groundwater.  While this connection provides access to a water source it also creates a conduit for pollution of our groundwater. 

  • Stormwater runoff from a small storm or localized flooding can pose a hazard to your drinking water. Runoff is less likely to introduce contaminants into wells that have been properly constructed, sealed and maintained.

  • Your job is to ensure your well is maintained (cap and seal), manage activities near the water around your well, and periodically monitor the water.  Managing and maintaining your well water helps to protect groundwater sources in the community.


Photo courtesy Vermont PBS.

Test your well water and inspect your well regularly.

When inspecting your well, follow these simple steps to minimize impacts to water quality:

  • Ensure a properly sealed well cap. Install a well cap or sanitary seal to prevent unauthorized use or entry into the well. Contaminants can enter a well through well casings or caps that are not completely water tight.

  • Regularly inspect the above ground components. A regular inspection of the wellhead and surface seal are encouraged; address any damage or deterioration.

  • Test the well water. Neither the State of Vermont nor the Environmental Protection Agency regulates private well water. It is up to you to have your well water tested!

Did you know?
Did you know?

Bacteria can get into a well from well caps! A safe well cap should be:

  • Bolted or locked, so that it can not be easily removed

  • Fitted with a rubber seal to prevent vermin from entering the well

  • Watertight

  • In good physical condition

  • Avoid standing water near wellhead. Standing water can potentially infiltrate the well through the soil or the seal around the well casing if it is not watertight. The area around your wellhead should be sloped to drain surface runoff away from the well. If stormwater runoff is flowing in the vicinity of a well or is accumulating near the well, check out our solutions page to identify options to redirect it or prevent it from entering the area.

  • Do not dump.  Do not dispose of wastes in dry or abandoned wells.  An abandoned well can provide a direct pathway for contamination from the surface into the groundwater— potentially the same groundwater supply you are using for your functioning water well.

Deeper dive
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