Protect & Maintain Your Well
Doing your part to protect our groundwater supply
If you’re a well user, you play an important role as a water steward in Southern Nevada. You can help protect the groundwater supply by becoming knowledgeable about how your well works, taking steps to protect your well from contamination and checking the quality of your well water periodically.
Follow these guidelines to prevent groundwater contamination:
- Don’t pour hazardous materials down the drain.
- Don’t put hazardous materials in the trash.
- Don’t dump hazardous materials on the ground.
- Dispose of harmful materials properly.
- Take care of your septic system.
Ensure proper well abandonment
Abandoned wells can represent a significant risk to groundwater quality. If a well is abandoned without being properly sealed, it can act as a direct channel for contaminants to reach groundwater.
To properly abandon a well, a licensed well driller must:
- Remove the pump/column from the well.
- Clean any debris out of the well.
- Perforate the casing to 50 feet above the static water level.
- Plug the well with cement/grout from the bottom of the well to the surface.
If you are aware of any abandoned wells, please report the abandoned well so that it can be investigated.
Protect your wellhead
Protect your wellhead with these tips and information:
- Don’t spill, store or dispose of animal wastes, fuels, pesticides, fertilizers, paints and other harmful products within a wellhead protection area or within the wellhead protection area of adjacent properties.
- Test your well water at least once each year if you are a private well owner for coliform bacteria and at least once every three years for the Routine Domestic Water Analysis. For more information, call a certified private lab. These organizations may be helpful:
- The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) can provide a list of State of Nevada Certified Laboratories. The SNHD also will provide an interpretation of your lab results upon request.
- The University of Nevada, Reno Water Data Interpreter will assess your lab results.
- Develop wells only outside areas of potential contamination. A well should not be located near corrals, pastures, feed lots or drainage ways of underground fuel storage tanks.
- Establish a wellhead protection area. The area should be a circle around the well that has a minimum radius of 100 feet from the wellhead.
Any well serving two or more homes is required to have a meter installed and maintained near the discharge pipeline near the point of diversion. The well users must maintain the meter and keep accurate readings of the water use:
How to read your water meter
- Locate your well meter.
- If necessary, remove the meter box lid with a screwdriver or appropriate tool.
- Lift the cap covering the meter lens and face the meter so that the “0” on the outer dial is at the top (see Figure 1).
- Locate the number bar on the face of the meter (see Figure 2). Write down the number as it appears from left to right. Note that the zero or zeroes on the far right do not move.
- After obtaining your reading, close the meter cap to prevent damage to the lens and replace the meter box lid if necessary.
What the Groundwater Management Program is doing
As part of the Las Vegas Valley Groundwater Management Program, the Southern Nevada Water Authority established a water level monitoring program to help inform well owners about hydrologic conditions in the valley and to provide well owners an opportunity to observe fluctuations in water levels at monitoring locations near their wells. This program supplements other regional programs by different agencies for the purposes of monitoring hydrologic conditions and managing groundwater quality and water resources in Las Vegas Valley.