The Edwards Aquifer provides water for over 2 million people and it covers more than 8,000 square miles in eight counties, so it is an important resource in need of protection.
That is why the Edwards Aquifer Authority has launched a campaign to identify and address abandoned water wells.
EAA Groundwater Protection Manager Roger Andrade says that they know of more than 300 abandoned wells, many of which could pose a direct threat to water quality. Andrade says that abandoned wells are much like straws that could deliver any kind of contaminant directly into the underground recesses where water is stored.
"Abandoned wells pose a potentially high risk for water quality in the Edwards Aquifer," Andrade explained.
There are two basic ways to stop the threat, according to Andrade. The well can be capped if there is hope for using it in the future, or, if it is obsolete, it can be plugged and sealed off forever.
"We try to guide people through the whole process,” Andrade said. “We do have some programs where we may plug a well for people who can't afford to plug a well. We may provide services like camera work to try to determine what condition the well is in.”
Here us a link with information about this program and more offered by the EAA: www.edwardsaquifer.org