City of St. Paul Park 

on the Mississippi

Sealing Unused Wells

What is well sealing?

Well sealing is the process of permanently and completely filling a well with an approved sealing material, called "grout".  State law requires that a well must be sealed by a licensed well contractor or a licensed well sealing contractor.  The sealing process starts with removal of the pump, the inner pipe to the pump, and any materials or obstruction in the well.  A grout "tremie" pipe is then installed to the bottom of the well and the contractor pumps in the grout, usually consisting of a special cement or a special clay.  In certain cases, the contractor may have to remove or perforate the well casing(s) before pumping the grout to ensure a proper sealing.  After sealing the well, the contractor sends a "Well and Boring Sealing Record" the Minnesota Department of Health.

The owner of a well is not liable for contamination of groundwater from a well that occurs after the well has been sealed by a licensed well contractor or a licensed well sealing contractor.  For this reason, many financial institutions and realty companies are requiring the sealing of wells that are not in use as a condition for loans and mortgages.  The sealing of wells helps protect groundwater and the safety of your drinking water. 

How much does it cost?

The cost of sealing a well can vary considerably.  For shallow, small diameter wells--like those found at some homes and many lake cabins--the cost typically ranges from $300 to $600.  Deeper, larger wells will cost more to seal.  Things like access to the well, special geological conditions, debris in the well, and depth and diameter of the well will affect the cost of well sealing.  The cost of sealing an old well will often be less when people get together and arrange to have a number of old wells in a community sealed at the same time.  It is always a good idea to get several estimates on costs.   

Some local governments offer cost-share programs to help pay for part of the cost of sealing wells.  Please contact the Minnesota Department of Health or the local Soil and Water Conservation District for details. 

Where can I get more information?

If you have questions, please contact a licensed well contractor or the well specialist at your local Minnesota Department of Health district office: 

625 North Robert Street
PO Box 64975
St. Paul MN 55164-0975
(651) 201-4600


City of St. Paul Park, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park MN 55071