Garden Well & Abandonment ProgramsAs the Village of Weston developed, many properties that originally drew their water supply from private wells were required to convert to the public water system. This conversion requires that the private well be disconnected from the internal plumbing and no longer used for consumptive purposes or that the well is permanently abandoned. If a property owner chooses to keep their well it can only be used for purposes such as car washing, lawn and garden watering or other non-consumptive purposes. Thus, the term "garden well" is used.
Another consequence of being served by a public water supply is that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources no longer monitors the compliance of any private wells remaining on those properties. Instead, the DNR requires the water utility to monitor the code compliance of garden wells on properties within the utility's service area.
The Village of Weston has not taken an aggressive approach to mandate the abandonment of garden wells even though they can present contamination issues with the public water supply. Instead, the Village has developed standards that allow property owners to retain their garden wells. Those standards, and the standards for well abandonment, are contained in Sec. 86.147 ? Sec. 86.150 of the Municipal Code. The Village of Weston must monitor all garden wells on properties served by the municipal water system within the Village boundaries. An additional description of each program is described herein.
Garden Well Program
The garden well permit program is for those residents who have a well for the sole purpose of lawn or "garden" use. Prior to the Village issuing a permit to place, or keep, the well in service, Village utility personnel must,
1) Inspect the plumbing on the premises to confirm that there are no "cross connections" in the piping between the well water and the public water supply, and
2) Village utility personnel must collect one sample of water from the garden well in a properly prepared sample container. The sample will then be delivered within 24 hours to the Marathon County Health Department for analysis. If the sample is found to be bacteriologically safe, the Village will issue a 5-year Private Well Permit provided that the customer has paid the necessary fee.
Permits are issued for five-year periods and must be renewed at the expiration of each period in order for the well to be retained. The current garden well permit fee is $100.00, and is subject to change from time to time. The fee is intended to cover the costs of collection and testing for one bacteriological sample along with water utility inspection and administrative labor to run the garden well program.
The Village of Weston follows the protocols of section 86.149 of the Municipal Code, and the Department of Natural Resources (NR) 812.26 of the Wisconsin Administration Code. (Note that even though a garden well may not be used for consumptive purposes, it still must be found to be bacteriologically safe to be kept in service in accordance with NR 812.26. This is to prevent unsafe wells from having impacts on the groundwater.)
Well Abandonment Program
The well abandonment program is for those residents, served by the municipal water supply, who wish to permanently abandon a well on their property. The WDNR recommends that licensed well drillers or pump installers abandon wells. The Village of Weston acts as the middleman for the WDNR to verify compliance with NR 812.26. The Village must be notified prior to abandonment activity so that a village representative may arrange to be present to ensure proper abandonment procedure is followed.
The Village of Weston follows protocols of section 86.150 of the Municipal Code, and the Department of Natural Resources (NR) 812.26 of the Wisconsin Administration Code. (The Village of Weston strongly encourages customers to abandon wells on properties served by the public water supply to eliminate the chances for a cross connection between private and public water supplies.)
For more information on garden wells and well abandonment please contact:
David R. Carriveau
Water Supply Specialist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
5301 Rib Mountain Drive
Valerie Parker, Private Well Coordinator
Village of Weston
5500 Schofield Avenue
Weston, WI 54476