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.
- Monitoring Well/ Test Hole/ Soil and Geotechnical Boring Plugging Registration Report MO 780-2161
- Water Well/ Heat Pump Plugging Registration Report MO 780-1603
- Oil and Gas Notice of Intention to Plug MO 780-0214
- Oil and Gas Well Plugging Report MO 780-0217
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.