Private Water Well Program
The Environmental Health division conducts the Private Water Well program. The program is one of the four core programs that are funded by the local health protection grant from the state of Illinois. The Private Water Well Program was initiated in 1991. The purpose of the program is to ensure that private water wells are properly constructed, prevent water borne illnesses and provide safe drinking water to those not on community water supplies. Another purpose of the program is to have abandoned wells sealed to prevent a safety hazard for children, animals or even adults from falling into them, causing injury or death. Abandoned wells also are a source of possible groundwater pollution from contaminated surface water, agricultural runoff and effluent from private sewage disposal systems.
The Environmental Health staff issues well permits, inspects wells as they are being constructed and during installation of the pump, distributes water bottles and collects water samples.
Most wells constructed in Macoupin County are large diameter bored wells, typically 36 inch diameter and range in depth from 25 to 50 feet.
The Illinois Water Well Construction Code requires the owner of a water well within 30 days after it is abandoned and no longer use to supply water. If a well or boring is in such a state of disrepair that it has the potential for transmitting contaminants into groundwater or otherwise threatens the public health or safety, it also must be sealed.
Where an abandoned well is found to contaminate potable water well, the owner of the abandoned well is responsible for providing a safe and sufficient supply of water to the owner of the well that has been contaminated.
Sealing Abandoned Wells
The basic concept in sealing an abandoned well is restoring the geographical conditions that existed before the well was drilled. Therefore, the particular method for sealing a well depends on the type of water well and the local geological features.
A licensed well driller must seal an abandoned well. A homeowner may seal his or her own well if a written request is made describing the procedures and materials to be used, all of which must comply with the well code. Macoupin County Public Health Department must be notified 48 hours prior to start of the work to seal such wells and a completed sealing form must be submitted after the sealing is finished.
Most dug and bored wells can be sealed by filling them with clean clay. Drilled wells are somewhat more complex to seal and require pea gravel or limestone chips(fill material) and neat cement grout or any bentonite product manufactured for water well sealing (sealing material). The depth, geology, and construction of the particular abandoned well to be sealed determines the appropriate levels at which these materials must be placed. For all types of wells, the well casing must be removed at least two feet below the final grade.
If you have any questions regarding this program please call the Environmental Health Division at 217-839-4101