Private Wells

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All premises intended for human occupancy must be provided with an adequate supply of water that is safe and acceptable to drink In Eau Claire County. You should contact the Health Department if you are experiencing a sudden change in the taste, color, smell, or appearance of your private well water. At the request of well owners or residents, Environmental Health Specialists will take water samples and investigate to help determine the cause of an unsafe water sample.


Water Testing

Private wells should be tested each year for coliform bacteria and nitrates. Please visit our laboratory web page for more information on water testing.

For information about water quality from private wells visit:
Well Disinfection
Disinfecting or chlorinating is a way to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria from a well. Many homeowners have successfully chlorinated their own wells. The Wisconsin DNR has a very complete guideline on the disinfection process. A simplified method of disinfection is also available from the Eau Claire City/County Health Department. This simplified method works in most cases.
Well Location Permits
Under a contract with the Wisconsin DNR, a well location permit is required in Eau Claire County when a new well is drilled, or a well is replaced or reconstructed. Most well drillers will obtain the well location permits for property owners before they drill a well. However, if any property owner needs to apply for a well location permit they should contact the Health Department at 715-839-4718 for more information.


Well Abandonment
The Eau Claire City/County Health Department enforces the abandonment of unused, contaminated, and improperly constructed private wells in Eau Claire County. In the State of Wisconsin only licensed well drillers and pump installers can legally abandon wells. You can find many of their telephone numbers in the yellow pages or you can contact this office for a list of licensed well drillers and pump installers in the area.
Financial Assistance for Well Abandonment
  • Eau Claire County offers a cost-sharing program designed to reimburse eligible property owners 50% of the cost of abandoning any unused or non-complying well on their property. Questions regarding this program should be direct to the Eau Claire County Land Conservation Division by calling (715) 839-6226.
  • The DNR also has Well Abandonment Grants
Newborn Water Testing Program
Eau Claire County families with a newborn child that live in a home served by a private well can have their water tested for bacteria and nitrate contamination at no cost. For more information please contact the Health Department at 715-839-4718.

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