Wellhead Protection

The way you handle materials that could contaminate a water supply, and the distance of possible contaminants from a well or other water source, can have a dramatic effect on the quality of drinking water on the farm. For instance, if you typically mix pesticides near the well, your chances of drinking water contamination from pesticides escalates. To protect your well, take an inventory of farming practices like pesticide mixing and container washing and disposal. Then assess the risk of contamination and make necessary changes.  Modifications in farming operations may improve your efficiency and reduce operation or production costs.

Soil conservation practices may be necessary to divert runoff from the well area. Mix farm chemicals and rinse containers a minimum of 100 feet from the well. Apply pesticides on days with minimal wind to prevent chemicals drift into farmsteads. Use a device in the hose when filling a sprayer tank to be sure chemicals will not siphon back to the well. Keep an emergency chemical spill kit handy. Maintain any filter strips surrounding the farmstead or wellhead. Repair wellhead casing as needed. Repair any cracks in concrete pads used for chemical mixing, loading or contain washing.