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Work sheet 3

Fact sheet 3

Drinking Water Well Management

Assessment 1
Well location

Use this assessment to rate your well location risks. For each question, indicate your risk level in the right-hand column. Although some choices may not correspond exactly to your situation, choose the response that best fits. Refer to Part 1 of Fact Sheet 3 if you need more information to complete the table.

Well location

  Low risk Medium risk High risk Your risk
Position of well in relation to pollution sources Well is uphill from all pollution sources. Surface water doesn't reach well or is diverted. Casing extends above ground surface. Well is level with or uphill from most pollution sources. Some surface water runoff may reach well. Well is downhill from pollution sources or in a pit or depression. Surface water runoff reaches well. Top of well casing is level with or below ground surface. Low

Medium

High
Separation distances between well and pollution sources Distances from potential pollution sources meet or exceed all state minimum requirements. Some but not all distances from potential pollution sources meet state requirements. Distances from most or all potential pollution sources do not meet state minimum requirements.
Low

Medium

High
Soil type Soil is fine-textured like clay loams or silty clay. Soil is medium-textured like silt or loam. Soil is coarse-textured like sand, sandy loam or gravel.
Low

Medium

High
Subsurface conditions The water table or fractured bedrock are deeper than 20 feet.   The water table or fractured bedrock are shallower than 10 feet.
Low

Medium

High

Assessment 2
Well construction and maintenance

Use the table below to rate your risks related to well construction and maintenance. For each question, indicate your risk level in the right-hand column. Although some choices may not correspond exactly to your situation, choose the response that best fits. Refer to Part 2 in Fact Sheet 3 if you need more information.

Well construction and maintenance

  Low risk Medium risk High risk Your risk
Well age* Well was constructed after 1987. Well was constructed before 1987, but is not 50 years old. Well is more than 50 years old.
Low

Medium

High
Well type Drilled well. Driven-point (sand-point) well. Dug well.
Low

Medium

High
Casing height above land surface Casing is 12 inches or more above the surface. If the area floods, casing is 1 to 2 feet above the highest recorded flood level. Casing is at the surface or up to 12 inches above the surface. Casing is below the surface or in a pit or basement.
Low

Medium

High
Condition of casing and well cap (seal) No holes or cracks are visible. Cap is tightly attached. A screened vent faces the ground. No holes or cracks are visible. Cap is loose. Holes or cracks are visible. Cap is loose or missing. Running water can be heard or seen.
Low

Medium

High
Casing depth relative to land surface Casing extends 50 feet or more below the land surface. Casing extends 20 to 50 feet below the land surface. Casing extends less than 20 feet below the land surface.
Low

Medium

High
Backflow protection Measures are taken to prevent backflow and, where necessary, anti-backflow devices are installed. Measures are sometimes taken to prevent backflow. No anti-backflow devices are installed. No measures are taken to prevent backflow. No anti-backflow devices are installed.
Low

Medium

High
Well inspection and tune-up Well was inspected within the last 10 to 15 years. Well was inspected 15 to 20 years ago. Well was inspected over 20 years ago or don't know when well was last inspected.
Low

Medium

High
*Wells drilled after 1987 are subject to standards that were not in effect prior to that date.

Assessment 3
Water testing and unused wells

Use the table below to rate your risks related to water quality and unused wells. For each question, indicate your risk level in the right-hand column. Although some choices may not correspond exactly to your situation, choose the response that best fits. Refer to Part 3 in Fact Sheet 3 if you need more information.

Water testing and unused wells

  Low risk Medium risk High risk Your risk
Water testing Consistent, good water quality. Tests meet standards for bacteria, nitrate, and other contaminants. Some tests do not meet standards or tests approach standards. Water is not tested. Water is discolored after a rainstorm or during spring melt. There are noticeable changes in color, odor, and taste.
Low

Medium

High
Unused wells on your property or in your area There are no unused wells, or there are unused wells that are properly sealed. There are unused wells that are not sealed but are capped and isolated from contaminants. There are unused, unsealed wells that are in poor condition, near pollution sources, and/or uncapped.
Low

Medium

High

Action checklist

When you finish the work sheets, go back over the questions to ensure that every high and medium risk you identified is recorded in the work sheets. For each risk, write down the improvements you plan to make. Use recommendations from this guide and from resources elsewhere. Pick a target date that will keep you on schedule for making the changes. You don't have to do everything at once, but try to eliminate the most serious risks as soon as you can. Often it helps to start with inexpensive actions.

Drinking water well management

Write all high and medium risks below. What can you do to reduce the risk? Set a target date for action.
Sample: Water hasn't been tested for 10 years. Smells different than it used to. Have sample tested at county or state health department or a private testing lab. One week from today: April 8
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
This guide was prepared by Steve Mellis, Water Quality Associate, MU Extension. Adapted from a worksheet by Alyson McCann, University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension.
The Missouri Home-A-Syst series was produced with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture and was adapted for use in Missouri from the National Farm-A-Syst/Home-A-Syst Program in Cooperation with the Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Services (NRAES).

EQM103, new April 2001


EQM103W Drinking Water Well Management (Work Sheet) | University of Missouri Extension