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 with wide openings pose a life threatening hazard to people and animals.

Abandoned wells are required by state law to be plugged because they present a contamination threat to groundwater.

Reporting and General Info

Please report abandoned wells to the department by using the Report an Environmental Concern form. They also may be reported by calling the department at 573-368-2165 or by sending email to


The plugging of abandoned wells must be reported to the department and can be done by using Well Installation Online Services or by submitting the appropriate form.

Well Plugging Grants

Well Construction Rules