If you’re moving onto a property that has an old well dug on it or you’re having a well re-drilled for posterity, you may have heard talk about a well cap somewhere along the line. And while you may not know much about wells or their function, a well cap is a pretty self-explanatory term that just about anyone can figure out: it’s something to secure (or cap!) the opening of your well.
Well caps serve a couple of very important purposes when they’re installed, including:
- They protect the water and any submersibles that may be present from contaminants that can travel down an uncapped well into the structure of the well itself.
- They prevent small animals and pests from crawling in and either dying or nesting within the well structure.
In short, well caps protect wells in their form and function, making them the first line of defense at all times. A well without a cap on it is a well left exposed.
Now, most of the time your well will be secured via its housing construction while it’s an active well, however when wells are abandoned or out of use and the pump is removed, a permanent cap must be installed to protect the integrity of the installation. This is where a well drilling company in Missoula, MT and well caps come into play.
A well drilling company is going to have to cap any well that’s no longer in regular function, per an ecology inspector. This means the well must not only be covered to prevent ingress by contaminants and wildlife, but that it’s capped to a level that’s sustainable and standardized.
Capping a well
There are two primary ways to cap a well so that it falls within environmental standards and acceptability standards:
- The first and easiest way to cap a well is to use a prefabricated well cap. This is a cost effective solution that provides sound results, sealing off a well entirely to preserve its integrity. The best part is that caps can be removed with the proper equipment, in the event that your well needs to be reactivated again in the future.
- The second—and a more permanent solution to well capping—is to weld steel plating over the top of the well for a complete and total seal.
In either case the method of capping needs to be completely secure. The cap needs to be a non-permeable barrier, resilient against rodents and other pests who might be looking to get in, and unable to be opened or unsecured by anyone other than a trained professional.
Protection for you and your water
A well cap is integral in protecting wells that are out of use for the time being or for the long term, and it’s the first line of defense that can relied on. Make sure you’re capping or well appropriately or, if you acquire property with a capped well, that you have the cap inspected and checked for integrity!