Exposed Abandoned Well

A well is considered abandoned when it can no longer produce water, transport water to its point of use, or causes a contamination risk to groundwater and has not been used for two or more years. Over time, thousands of water wells were abandoned without being properly plugged. 

Abandoned wells are required by state law to be properly plugged. Abandoned wells with wide openings pose a life threatening hazard to people and animals. In addition to creating a physical hazard, abandoned water wells provide a direct channel for surficial contamination to enter groundwater aquifers.

Plugging Abandoned Wells

The Missouri Well Construction Rule, found in Code of State Regulations 10 CSR 23-3.110, describes specific plugging requirements for all water well types. Plugging abandoned wells must be reported to the department and can be done by using Well Installation Online Services (MoWells) or by submitting the appropriate form.

Reporting Abandoned Wells

If you discover an abandoned well, please report the abandoned well to the department through our online Report an Environmental Concern form. Abandoned wells also may be reported by calling the department at 573-368-2165 or email at

Additional Information