Monitoring Well Standards

Part III. Destruction of Monitoring Wells

Section 16. Purpose of Destruction.

A monitoring well or exploration hole subject to these requirements that is no longer useful, permanently inactive or "abandoned" must be properly destroyed to:

(1) Ensure the quality of groundwater is protected, and,

(2) Eliminate a possible physical hazard to humans and animals.

Section 17. Definition of "Abandoned" Monitoring Well.

A monitoring well is considered "abandoned" or permanently inactive if it has not been used for one year, unless the owner demonstrates intention to use the well again. In some cases regulatory agencies may require that an inactive monitoring well be maintained for future use.

In accordance with Section 24400 of the California Health and Safety Code, the monitoring well owner shall properly maintain an inactive well, as evidence of intention for future use, in such a way that the following requirements are met:

"(1) The well shall not allow impairment of the quality of water within the well and groundwater encountered by the well.

(2) The top of the well or well casing shall be provided with a cover, that is secured by a lock or by other means to prevent its removal without the use of equipment or tools, to prevent unauthorized access, to prevent safety hazard to humans and animals, and to prevent illegal disposal of wastes in the well. The cover shall be watertight where the top of the well casing or other surface openings to the well are below ground level, such as in a vault or below known levels of flooding. The cover shall be watertight if the well is inactive for more than five consecutive years. A pump motor, angle drive, or other surface feature of a well, when in compliance with the above provisions, shall suffice as a cover.

(3) The well shall be marked so as to be easily visible and located, and labeled so as to be easily identified as a well.

(4) The area surrounding the well shall be kept clear of brush, debris, and waste materials."

Section 18. General Requirements

All permanently inactive or "abandoned" monitoring wells and exploration holes subject to these requirements shall be properly destroyed. The purposes of destruction are to eliminate the well structure and borehole as a possible means for the preferential migration of poor-quality water, pollutants, and contaminants; and, to prevent a possible hazard to humans and animals.

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