The following questions and answers have been prepared to help new and current well owners care for this valuable resource.
Should the top of my well be visible?
A well must always be visible to ensure easy access if remedial work to the pump, or other emergency work, must be done immediately. You should determine the exact location of the well if you do not already know where it is. This will help when you need to replace any equipment inside the well. It is advisable to have the casing raised to a minimum height of 40cm above the ground surface and install a vermin-proof cap.
Is it OK to add surface water or rainwater to my well?
Adding water to your well is not recommended. It could contaminate your supply and will not alleviate your water shortage problems during drought conditions. If you have added any water of unknown quality, or have suspicions about the quality of the water in your well, you should have the water tested immediately to make sure it is safe to drink.
How can I obtain water well records for the wells on my property?
If your well was reported to the ministry when it was constructed, you may be able to get the record from the Ministry of the Environment. Call the ministry (1-888-396-9355) for a certified copy of your record(s). Once you have the records for a well, note the information on its construction, the static water level at the time of construction, the specific capacity of the well and the pump setting depth. Then note any changes that have occurred since it was built. The information contained in your record may serve as good baseline information in the assessment of your site-specific conditions.
What about work in the vicinity of my well?
Development in the vicinity of your well, such as paving or building construction, could affect the ground surface around your well. You should always be careful not to interfere with the integrity of the well.
What are my responsibilities regarding wells on my property?
Well owners are obliged to maintain all wells on their properties. If a well is not being properly maintained, the well owner must have it abandoned. Secure caps and lids must be maintained on the top of any well which is not plugged. If you are unsure of the condition of the well cap or lid, have it inspected by qualified personnel and replaced or upgraded if necessary. This is to help protect and preserve ground water resources and minimize safety risks. Ministry of the Environment Regulation 903 details all requirements regarding well construction, maintenance and abandonment.
How often should I test my well water?
Well water should be tested for bacteria at least once per year and after any repairs to the well system have been performed.
Is it OK to conceal my well by planting a garden or trees around it?
No, you must safeguard your well supply from contamination. Therefore, do not try to conceal your well with flower boxes, a garden/trees or place bird feeders nearby.
I have an old well on my property that is not used. What should I do with it?
You should contact a licensed well technician and have the old well abandoned so it does not contaminate other wells.
For more in-depth information regarding regulations and responsibilities, visit the Ontario Ministry of the Environment Green Tips webpage at http://www.ontario.ca/ministry-environment.
Our licensed technicians are happy to answer any of your well-related questions.