Are you a landowner whose existing water well has gone bad and are thinking of hiring a water well drilling contractor to drill a new replacement well? If the answer is yes, this article might be of interest to you. Did you know that leaving and abandoning the old well located on your place might someday be a source of not only contaminating the newly drilled water well, but also any surrounding water wells lying in close proximity. The contamination occurs when underground brackish water layers lying above and sealed away from the well’s fresh water zone are able to leak into the abandoned well through rusted and broken sections of the well’s casing. The brackish water then mixes with fresh water underground and flows downstream contaminating other surrounding water wells. This brackish contamination process continues until the abandoned well is plugged by removing the old casing and filling the entire well hole with either bentonite pellets or a cement slurry. Most drillers find it most convenient to do plugging work at the same time or in conjunction with drilling of new water wells on the same farm or ranch.

Brush Country GCD whose mission is to conserve and protect the Gulf Coast Aquifer has a cost share program that assists well owners with plugging of abandoned wells.   Plugging program requires that the plugging work must be done by a licensed water well driller who must follow state guidelines set by TCEQ.   Brush Country GCD’s(BCGCD) maximum cost share allowed through this program is $1,500 per well and well owner has to apply and be approved for the plugging program prior to the driller initiating the plugging work.  Another requirement is that the abandoned well must be registered with BCGCD in order to be eligible for the program. Registering may be done by coming by the Brush Country GCD Office and signing a District Water Well Registration Form.  The well registration and well plugging application forms may also be downloaded from the District’s Website located at

Contact the Brush Country GCD Office located at 732 West Rice in Falfurrias, Texas at phone number 361 325 5093 for further details on this program. Email contact is