Domestic Well photo grid

Owners of private water wells play an important role in ensuring long-term safety of the well and groundwater resources. After the well has been constructed, the well owner is responsible for:

  • Maintaining the wellhead. This is the portion extending above the ground. State law requires the wellhead to extend at least one foot above grade. Prevent damage to the wellhead from lawn mowers, tractors and other equipment.
  • Maintaining minimum setback distances from septic systems, sewers, fuel tanks, chemicals, animal feedlots, etc.
  • Keeping a wellhouse free from gasoline or chemical storage.
  • Inspecting the well for cracks in the casing, a loose well cap or other problems.
  • Keeping the area around the well free from debris such as leaves, weeds or trash.
  • Contacting a permitted well or pump contractor, as required by law, to correct problems or perform service work.
  • Plugging abandoned or unused wells. These wells can be a direct pathway for contamination to Missouri’s groundwater.
  • Using the well for its intended use.

Disinfecting Your Water Well

Disinfection is needed when a water sample tests positive for bacteria, the well has been impacted by flood water, or when work on the well (e.g., a pump replacement or liner installation) has been completed.

When Repairs are Needed

If repairs need to be made to the water well, hire a contractor to do the work. Contractors licensed to do business in Missouri may be found online by using Well Installation Services online application

Bacteriological Testing 

For more information about bacteriological testing for private drinking water please contact the following agencies: