Fillmore SWCD can help take the burden off of sealing unused wells by assisting financially.
There is a potential for anyone, regardless of where you live in Fillmore County (farm, small town, city) to have one or more wells on your property. It may not be your main water source. It could have been there from prior to city water connection. Maybe it was there for secondary buildings, barns or use in watering lawn and gardens.
As part of a 10-county initiative for southeast Minnesota, Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has financial assistance available to Fillmore County landowners with an unused well to seal the hazard, especially if located in a highly vulnerable area for drinking water. The program offers a 75% cost-share up to $2,000 for sealing an unused well.
This regional program seeks to seal unused wells in vulnerable drinking water areas in southeast Minnesota to prevent pollution in aquifers used for public drinking water. Groundwater is the primary source of water for residents in southeast Minnesota. Due to karst geology, southeast Minnesota’s groundwater is more vulnerable to contamination due to the quick transport of surface pollution to aquifers.
Unused wells should be sealed for physical safety, health, environment and legal responsibilities according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). An unused well can act like a drain that allows surface water runoff, contaminated water or improperly disposed waste a direct pathway into drinking water sources. When this happens, the quality of everyone’s drinking water is threatened, which is why MDH recommends homeowners test their water annually.
Prioritization of well sealing starts with wells in an identified drinking water supply management area (DWSMA), Wellhead Protection Plan (WPP) or area of documented groundwater contamination. Others will be considered after these priorities.
The cost-share funds of 75% up to $2,000 for sealing unused wells is available through 2025 on a first come first serve basis that meet the priority needs. Sealing of wells must be completed by a licensed well contractor with MDH. Once a well is fully sealed the contractor will submit a Well and Boring Sealing Record to MDH.
Fillmore County landowners interested in cost-share assistance for well sealing should contact Sara West at Fillmore SWCD at 507-887-0240 or by email at email@example.com. See also Well Sealing under State Cost-Share.
More information is available from the Minnesota Department of Health
Fillmore SWCD District Programs