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This paper presents an overview of the technical considerations and field procedures involved in monitoring well maintenance, rehabilitation, and abandonment. It includes criteria that should be considered throughout the life span of the well to ensure that the well serves its purpose optimally and that, when removed from service, it is no threat to the environment. The primary purpose of this paper is to provide guidance in selecting the most acceptable field procedures.
Even though monitoring wells are intended to be sources of reliable data, each well introduces a number of limited control variables that may affect the reliability of the analytical data. Regular maintenance of monitoring wells, both structurally and hydrologically, is required to preserve optimal performance of the well. Well maintenance principles are discussed in this paper, and recommendations for procedures are provided.
Major changes to a well may be required when it no longer serves its original purpose. The benefits of rehabilitation procedures are discussed and related to the risk of accepting changes in the established data base.
Abandonment (or decommissioning) of monitoring wells is necessary when they no longer serve their intended purpose. At that time, the well must be brought to a neutral condition which is compatible with the soil matrix, ground-water quality, and the chemicals monitored and which also preserves the hydrogeological integrity of the specific location. Examples of successful closures are presented to illustrate these general principles.
ground water, monitoring wells, well maintenance, well rehabilitation, well abandonment, well decommissioning, well redevelopment, aquifers, well plugging
Senior project coordinator, Engineering Enterprises, Inc., Norman, OK