Private Wells

According to the Iowa DNR, “over 75% of Iowans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water.” It is, therefore, very important to keep it free of contaminants so that people can keep safely using their private wells, which draw solely from the groundwater. 

Well Water Program

Private Well
In 1987, the Iowa legislature passed the Groundwater Protection Act. From this, the Grants-to-Counties Well Water Program was developed. The goal of the program is to make sure property owners are taking care of their private wells, and not improperly abandoning them or allowing contaminants to enter through imperfections in the well.

How the Program Helps You

A certain amount of money is allotted to each participating Iowa county per year. The money can be used to reimburse property owners up to a certain dollar amount for
  • water testing
  • well/cistern plugging
  • well reconstruction
The program dollars are available each fiscal year until the funds are depleted. Property owners can be reimbursed up to $500 for well plugging, $300 for cistern plugging, and $1000 for well reconstruction.

How the Program Works

Water testing is initially paid entirely by the county, and must be performed by the county Sanitarian. Nitrate, Bacteria, Arsenic, and Manganese testing are included with the free well water testing. Any additional tests must be paid for by the property owner.

Anyone with a private water well may be considered for this cost-sharing program. Property owners are required to contact the county Sanitarian in advance of any services done to the well in order to be eligible. 

Contact your county Sanitarian at 641-849-7372 or by email with any questions about the cost-sharing program and before having any service done on your well.