Over time, water wells are abandoned when they are replaced with new wells, when homes are connected to a community water systems instead, or when an entire property falls into disuse. If an abandoned well is improperly plugged, or not plugged at all, it can be a hazard to safety and health, and a threat to groundwater quality as a direct path for contaminants to reach groundwater. Contaminated surface water, agricultural runoff, and even effluent from septic tanks might possibly enter an improperly sealed well head pipe or well casing.
The Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) has adopted regulations that require a licensed well driller to properly abandon a well. (Source: NDEP, Bureau of Water Quality Planning, 1995, Abandoning Unused Water Wells - Fact Sheet).
The Nye County Water District is working to compile a database of known abandoned/ orphaned/unused well locations in Nye County. With the public's help, newly discovered abandoned water wells will be added to the database and correlated with the NDWR state records.