Well Plugging

If a well is beyond rehabilitation or is no longer in use, it must be plugged. This applies to all water wells. 

Safety Hazard


Abandoned wells can be detrimental to the environment and to public safety. They can be a pathway to contamination of our groundwater, which we use for drinking water, irrigation, etc. Abandoned large diameter wells can be a safety hazard, leaving a large hole for pets or people to potentially fall into.
Abandoned Well

Cost-Sharing Program


There is a cost-sharing program through the county Environmental Health Office that can help you pay up to $500 for approved materials or labor for plugging your well. You must contact the Sanitarian at 641-849-7372 or by email ahead of time to be eligible for cost-sharing, regardless if you plug the well yourself or hire a contractor. 

The cost-sharing program requires documentation so you must retain all receipts and paperwork related to the well plugging process. Additionally, the Iowa DNR Form 542-1226 " Abandoned Water Well Plugging Record (PDF) must be completed once the well plugging is finished.

Plugging the Well


If you decide to plug the well yourself, you must contact the county Sanitarian at 641-849-7372 a minimum of 48 hours ahead of time and schedule an appointment. The Sanitarian must visit the property and supervise the well plugging.

Hiring a Contractor


If you hire someone to plug the well, he or she must be a certified well contractor in the state of Iowa. The Iowa DNR maintains a list of certified well contractors

Plugging Your Well Yourself


While it is recommended to hire a certified well contractor to plug your abandoned well, you may do it yourself under the supervision of the county Sanitarian. The Iowa DNR website contains very useful information on how to properly plug your abandoned well. You will also want to familiarize yourself with the requirements for properly plugging an abandoned well under Iowa Administrative Code 567 Chapter 39 (PDF) and Code 455B.190.