Well Abandonment

Protect Door County Water Quality Through Proper Well Abandonment


Remember, if you have or find a well that is not in use or is a threat to groundwater, the owner of that well is required to properly seal the well under Wisconsin Administrative Code NR 812.26.

NR 812.26 (2) Criteria for Abandonment states that the owner shall permanently abandon a well or drillhole under the following conditions:

The well is contaminated with bacteriological, viral or parasitic with 2 attempts of batch chlorination treatment fails.

  • The well poses a hazard to health or safety.
  • The well construction or location does not comply with the minimum standards of NR 812.
  • The well has been taken out of service and has not been used for 15 or more months.

**The cost share application and construction design must be approved before the well is abandoned.

Unused and improperly abandoned wells are a significant threat to groundwater quality, especially in Door County where highly fractured bedrock often only has a thin layer of soil to provide limited filtering of surface water that regenerates the aquifer. Well abandonment is an easy way to do your part and protect everybody’s water source, including yours!

The Door County Soil & Water Conservation Department (SWCD) offers a financial incentive to landowners to reimburse them for eligible costs associated proper sealing of old and unused wells. 

Well drillers, well constructors, pump installers, and plumbers are required to report to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) any unused or improperly abandoned wells of which they have knowledge. Let your contractor know that you want to protect your own and other’s drinking water and be involved in the County Well Abandonment Program. They can help facilitate your application to the program.

Well Diagram of improperly abandoned well

Cost-sharing is available:
Door County Cost-Share Program

Contact to see if you are eligible:

Soil & Water Conservation Department
Government Center
421 Nebraska Street
Sturgeon Bay, WI  54235

Phone: (920)746-2214
Fax: (920)746-2369

Email: 
Email Soil & Water Conservation Department

Office Hours: 
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Holidays