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Well Abandonment Grants

This grant provides financial assistance for individuals to properly abandon unused private wells. Unused wells are a direct line for contamination into clean ground water.

Who can apply

Eligible applicants

Low income landowner, landowner's spouse, heir, assignee/legal representative or renter with an unused private well that needs abandoning may apply. Low income means a family income less than $45,000 in the prior year. Income above $45,000 results in a 30 percent reduction in reimbursement.

Example of income reduction

Your family income is $47,500 for both you and your spouse. Your licensed well driller has given you an estimate that the proper well abandonment will cost $600.

Your family income is $47,500 - minus the maximum base allowed, without income reduction, is $45,000. The difference is $2,500 - this number multiplied by .30 (30 percent) is $750.00, or your income reduction. If your estimate is only $600.00 to properly abandon the well, and your income reduction is $750.00, you should not apply because your abandonment cost is less than the income reduction, therefore you will not be getting a reimbursement check.


Eligible costs

The DNR will cover eligible costs up to the invoice amount, less the 25 percent cost-share requirement.

Well abandonment work must be done according to DNR specifications and the unused private well must be properly abandoned and filled by a licensed well driller or pump installer before payment will be made.

Other costs may be eligible if deemed necessary and approved by the ground water program manager.

By statute the maximum grant award is $9,000. It is unlikely a grant award would reach the maximum because the average cost to abandon a well is much lower.

IMPORTANT: The cost for any well abandonment work done before you receive a grant award agreement or DNR "Approval to Proceed" notice to begin well abandonment work is not eligible for a grant award.

How to apply

Application process

Applications may be submitted at any time.

An eligible person must complete and send in an application, then wait to receive an approval letter before ANY work is done on the well abandonment. The unused private well must be properly abandoned by a licensed well driller or pump installer before payment will be made.

Trouble downloading forms? see: Troubleshooting tips [PDF]


Required documentation

  • W-9 Form [PDF exit DNR] - for check processing purposes
  • Map - must indicate the location of the well and property including the property tax record location stated in this format: Quarter-Quarter/Section/Town/Range
  • formal income documentation (state income tax return from previous year)

Details regarding state income tax form requirement

The pages needed from last year's Wisconsin state income tax form depend on how you file. Please send the page with the line that states "This is your WI income", send the first and all of the following pages until your WI income tax form states "This is your WI income."

If your income changed significantly from last year, due to job loss or retirement, then use one of the following documents.

Send the application, map, W-9 form and income documentation to the address indicated at the bottom of the application. Do not do any work until you get the approval letter back from the DNR. No reimbursement will be sent for work completed before receiving the approval letter.

Award information


If you are awarded a grant, you will receive an award package in the mail from the DNR grant manager. It will include:

  • your copy of the grant award agreement;
  • the payment claim form; and
  • an extra copy of the grant agreement for the licensed well driller or licensed pump installer.

At this point you contract with your licensed well driller or licensed pump installer to actually do the work.

You have one year from the date of the grant award agreement to complete the abandonment of your old well and request payment on this grant. Unless an extension is submitted in writing to the Drinking and Groundwater Program manager prior to the expiration date, the grant award will expire one year from the date of issuance.

Claiming the award

After the well is properly abandoned submit the following information.

After abandonment is completed, your licensed well driller or licensed pump installer should help you fill out the eligible cost portion of the Payment Claim (Form 8700-315) to reflect actual costs. He/she should also provide you with the completed Well Abandonment Report (Form 3300-005) required by the DNR.

When these materials are received and approved, the payment claim application is provided to the grant program manager for processing of the final payment letter and the grant award check.

Note: It is possible to receive your award without having paid the licensed well driller or licensed pump installer in full. Submit all of the above paperwork without the canceled check. A letter will be issued to both the applicant and the well driller/pump installer detailing the award amount. The applicant will be the payee on the check but the check will be mailed to the well driller/pump installer. Then it is up to the two parties to finalize the payment.


Contact information

For grant application and forms questions:
Well Grant Intake
For payment claim and reimbursement questions:
Well Grant Manager
Last revised: Friday January 27 2017