University of Maryland Extension

Protect Your Water Supply

Keep surface water runoff from puddling around the well. Grade your lot so that water drains away from your well casing. A well should not be drilled on a "low" part of your property.

Prevent surface water from seeping down the sides of your well. Make sure your well cap is not cracked and is tightly secured. If water tests show contamination, it is recommended that a well driller check the grout.

If your well is more than 30 years old, have it inspected by a county Health Department sanitarian or a qualified well driller to make sure that the casing is not cracked or corroded.

Install antibackflow devices on all faucets with hose connections, or maintain an air space between hose or faucet outlets and the water level in the container you are filling. Otherwise, you risk sucking contaminated water from laundry tubs, swimming pools, etc., back through the plumbing and into your well.

Have your fuel oil tank tested for leaks, especially if it is installed underground. Contact your fuel supplier for assistance.

Do not use gasoline, automotive products, solvents, pesticides, or excessive amounts of fertilizers near your well.

Do not tie pets to the well casing. Animal waste deposited close to the well could result in contamination. Also, a large dog may break or crack the casing.

Be careful never to hit the casing with a lawn mower or vehicle, or strike it with any force.

Maintain your septic system. Improperly functioning septic systems are a major cause of well contamination.

Your well should be disinfected with a chlorine solution any time work is done on the well or pump. Directions for shock chlorinating your well are available from your county Health Department. [Maryland Health Departments numbers and addresses.]

If there are unused or abandoned wells on your property, make sure they have been properly sealed to prevent direct contamination of groundwater by surface contaminants.

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