Abandoned Unplugged Wells


Unplugged abandoned wells can threaten the quality of drinking water from both private wells and those serving public water supply systems. It is estimated that over 2 million unplugged wells exist in Michigan.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has implemented a  comprehensive program to coordinate statewide abandoned water well plugging activities.  Plugging abandoned water wells protects aquifers that supply drinking water to nearly one-half of Michigan's citizens.  Proper well closure eliminates the risk of injury.

Regulatory Activity

Authority to conduct regulatory activities is established in the Public Health Code in Part 127, 1978 P.A. 368, as amended.  The MDEQ conducts compliance and enforcement actions in cooperation with the State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and through Local Health Departments (LHD).  LHDs enforce abandoned well plugging requirements through field inspections and review of plugging records submitted by registered well drilling contractors and property owners.