BRAINERD – Crow Wing County has received a $30,000 Clean Water Fund grant to help landowners seal off unused wells in the county and Pine River watershed.
An unused or abandoned well can be a source of groundwater contamination by providing a potential direct path for surface water runoff, contaminated water, or improper waste disposal to reach an uncontaminated groundwater source. according to county officials. Unused larger diameter wells can also pose a safety hazard to children and pets.
“Sealing unused wells is one of the most important practices that can be done to protect groundwater resources in Crow Wing County,” Environmental Services Coordinator Nicole Erickson said in a news release.
For the first time, the county plans to use a grading criteria to seal unused or abandoned wells:
- A 90% cost share will be allowed for sealed wells located in the Pine River watershed in superficial sandy aquifers.
- 75% cost sharing for wells located in superficial sandy aquifers outside of the Pine River watershed.
- 50% cost sharing for all other wells in the county or Pine River watershed.
The county will provide up to $1,000 in cost-shared funds per well. A state-licensed well contractor must perform the work. Sealing consists of cleaning the well of debris and filling it with grout.
Citizens are encouraged to contact a licensed well driller to begin the application process. For more information, visit crowwing.us/242/grants.
Groundwater protection is identified as a priority in the County Water Plan and Pine River One Watershed, One Plan, and most county residents depend on groundwater for their source of drinking water.
A total of 272 wells have been sealed from previous grants the county has received, according to the release.