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Well Abandonment

Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) has minimum standards that describe the acceptable methods for two types of well abandonment:

• Temporary abandonment — A well is considered temporarily abandoned when it is taken out of service. Owners of temporarily abandoned wells intend to bring the well back into service at a future date. Temporarily abandoned wells must be covered by a watertight cap or seal that prevents any materials from entering the well. An access port must be maintained to determine the water level in the well at any time.

 • Permanent abandonment — A well is considered permanently abandoned when it is completely filled so movement of water within the well is permanently stopped. With the exception of dug wells, a permanent abandonment must be performed by a licensed water well constructor, or the landowner under a landowner’s water well permit. Dug well abandonments require approval by OWRD before the abandonment is started.

Unused wells that are not properly abandoned provide an open channel for disease organisms and other contaminants to travel deep into the ground. Ultimately, landowners can be held responsible for harm to the groundwater resource resulting from old or unused wells. Oregon’s well abandonment standards are designed to prevent contamination, waste of water, loss of artesian pressure and prevent physical injury.

Well Decommissioning

McMullen Well Drilling

Providing Safe, Affordable and Effective

Well Abandonment Services!​

  • We are your licensed, bonded and insured water well drilling contractor in St. Helens, Oregon.​

  • We provide service throughout Columbia, Clackamas, Clatsop, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

  • ​We offer free estimates.

  • We have over 20 years of experience.​

The decision will depend on information from the well log and an onsite investigation of the well. A drilled well with steel or plastic casing will usually be abandoned by removing or ripping the casing and filling the borehole with cement from the bottom of the hole up to land surface. Bentonite may be used in the abandonment process but certain restrictions apply. Any pump, wiring or debris in the well must be removed before the abandonment material is placed.

​McMullen Well Drilling will help you determine the appropriate abandonment method.