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How to locate an abandoned well?
TALK TO INDIVIDUALS
- Property owner.
- Previous owner(s).
- Relatives or acquaintances who may know about the property.
- Neighbors (neighboring wells may give a clue as to well location, depth, etc.).
- Contractors (well drillers, plumbers, builders) who have worked on the property.
- Inspectors (well, plumbing, building, septic system).
- Current or former employees, maintenance personnel.
- Windmills or wishing wells.
- Casing visible above ground, concrete slab or basement floor.
- Small outbuildings (may be well house).
- Circular ring in cement or patch in the floor.
- Basement offset (small room off of basement).
- Patch in step or concrete (access for well below).
- Pit in yard or basement.
- Manhole cover.
- Crock, brick or stone structures.
- Handpump, hydrant, or faucet in yard.
- Waterline or patched hole through basement floor or wall.
- Water system components (pressure tank, pump, control box).
- Damp circular depression in yard.
- Additions, false walls, access panels which may "hide" well.
- Old building sites recognizable by an old foundation.
- Ornamental shrubs, flowers, or trees outlining old, home or farm sites.
- Water Well Record or Water Well Plugging Record at local health department or DEQ.
- Water well or sewage disposal permits at local health department.
- City, township or county officials – zoning or building permits
- Municipal water department - records on water line extensions to homes previously served by water wells.
- Old photographs of the property.
- Aerial photographs of the property (showing windmills, well houses).
- County plat book, soils map, or topo map showing locations of buildings, roads.
- Owner’s records (bills, deed easements) or information written on pressure tank, control box, etc.
EQUIPMENT AND TOOLS
- Metal detector.
- Tape measure or "snake" to follow pipes.
- Digging equipment including shovels, hammers, chisels, backhoe.
- Magnetometer or electro-magnetic anomaly detectors (these are available through groundwater consultants).