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Abandonment and Plugging of an Old Well

Abandonment and Plugging of an Old Well

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Old Nov 1st 2018, 8:02 am
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Default Abandonment and Plugging of an Old Well

Has anyone here in Hungary had a well that they have filled in with dirt or rock and abandoned it? We a have a unused well with water that is not safe for human consumption due to its proximity to a septic tank and drain field. It is a hand dug brick lined well probably 12-14 meters deep. There is starting to be subsidence on one side of the well. We were originally just going to remove the decorative well top and pour a concrete cover over the thing but after consideration of why the ground is subsiding next to the well we have decided for safety reasons we want to abandon the well and fill it in. Does this require permission from the authorities or can we just do it ourselves? What we want to do it fill the well with gravel and sand and then pour a concrete cover over the top of the ground.

We do not want the liability of this well hurting or killing someone but we do not want to spend a fortune that we do not have hiring it done unless we absolutely have to.
We are retired and have the time to do it ourself if we can legally do it.
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Old Nov 1st 2018, 9:30 am
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Default Re: Abandonment and Plugging of an Old Well

At the moment the law on wells is in flux. A law regarding permissions was passed by parliament but has been rejected by the president with a request to review. (No permission would have been needed down to 80m but, on environmental grounds this is thought to be too deep and the cost of registration was thought to be beyond the finances of many - who don't have mains water anyway - so no choice) Previously dug wells were usually done without any permission although I understand that there was a requirement to notify the council but this was rarely done. Once the law has been sorted there will be 'an amnesty' to allow people to register existing wells without questions. (of more significance to people with deep drilled wells rather than dug wells). When we had our well drilled in 1995 (120m) we were told that we had an allowance of 1m3 per day and there would be a charge (tax?) of 5huf per 1m3 after that. No one has ever followed this up to even see if there is meter - there isn't - and the cost of collection would be orders of magnitude more than the charge.

The EU has requested member countries to get a register of wells and water usage as it sees water will become an issue. This has prompted the current changes here.

At the moment there is no up to date register of wells. If your well has been in existence for some time then I doubt that any officialdom knows anything about it.

At the moment the requirement under the (to be changed) law is to register wells by the end of next year.

So thats some background, put in to enable you to make up your mind about what to do. In your position I would fill it in and say nothing. In the unlikely event of any one ever asking about the well I would reply - "what well"

The authority to operate your septic tank and its associate leach field is another issue for another day and is likely to be more troublesome when/if you are offered mains drainage
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Old Nov 1st 2018, 11:32 am
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Default Re: Abandonment and Plugging of an Old Well

Thanks Peter for that information. I had looked and could not find anything about it whatsoever. Our plan is just go ahead and do it and say nothing about it unless something else turns up mandating we hire a well driller to plug it.

The septic tank is why we are abandoning the well. I wish we had a mains sewer in our village. Hopefully one day it will happen but until then we have to live with what was already here. I would connect to mains sewer and get rid of the septic system if it becomes available.

Hopefully we can have a deep well drilled out behind our barn in a few years. I am certain that will be a huge expenditure. We have good city water in my village so having a well is not a immediate need.
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Old Nov 1st 2018, 1:29 pm
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Default Re: Abandonment and Plugging of an Old Well

First level water (a dug well) is not considered critical, it is the last few years rainfall so fluctuates in quantity and is easily contaminated. When you go below that to the 2nd or 3rd level then the authorities start getting nervous and take more care about what is happening. That water is older, cleaner and of a much more stable quantity.

We have just another drilled well (at a property without mains water) and luckily the 2nd level was at 20m. The cost was 20,000huf / m. so 400k huf. That included the drilling, piping, (2 concentric pipes) sealing the first layer down to the impervious layer (separating the 1st and 2nd levels) and then cleaning the well. The first attempt failed as the sand collapsed and jammed the first of the 2 pipes so another (successful) attempt was made. No extra charge - all in the original quote of 20k/m. Oh after that we need a well chamber, pump and pressure vessel.- not included in the drilling.

Unless you are using a lot of garden water and you don't have the facility of a garden tap with its own meter then it could take a long time to get the ROI on a drilled well. The local well drillers will be able to advise you of the expected depth and therefore the cost but it is charged by the meter actually drilled.
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Old Nov 1st 2018, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Abandonment and Plugging of an Old Well

Thanks once again Peter. With my luck the water will be at 150-160m, We will check in to it in a couple years. We have a couple projects ahead of a new well.
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