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West Virginia Public Health Sanitation Division


Steps to Protect Your Water Supply

Click here for a list of:  Common Sources of Groundwater Contamination.


  • Have your well water checked annually for harmful bacteria, contact your Local Health Department to schedule the water test

  • Ensure that the well is properly located

    • one hundred feet from any septic system;

    • one hundred feet from any barnyard, livestock feeding and watering areas; and

    • twenty-five feet from any streams, rivers or impoundments, ponds, and lakes

  • Ensure that the well is properly constructed

    • casing extends at least twelve inches above the ground,

    • casing properly grouted or concreted, approved materials were used, and

    • casing installed to the proper depth, contact your Local Health Department for Water Well Design Standards

  • Inspect exposed parts of your well:  look for cracks, corrosion, or damage to the well casing and cap / sanitary seal; and look for settling or cracking of concrete pad

  • Ensure that the concrete pad is intact, that it is sloped to drain surface water away from the well casing, that it extends two feet in all directions around the well casing, and that it is at least four inches thick

  • Ensure the well has an intact cap or sanitary seal to prevent contamination, and ensure that the vent faces downward and is screened

  • Do not mix or use pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, degreasers, fuels, and other pollutants around or up-grade from the well

  • Do not cut the well casing below the land surface

  • Do not put anything down unused wells

  • Abandon any unused wells to prevent contamination of the ground water, contact your Local Health Department for directions on how to properly abandon unused wells

  • Keep records of any maintenance, such as disinfection or sediment removal, that may require the use of chemicals

  • Hire certified well drillers for any new construction, modification, or abandonment of wells

  • Pump and inspect septic systems routinely

  • Never dispose of hazardous materials in septic systems


Contact your Local Health Department for a permit before drilling any new wells, or to abandon an existing water well.


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