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How to Cover Your Dug Well

By Tracy Barnhart
Prevent spills from entering a dug well.
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Before the use of drill rigs became popular, homeowners often installed dug wells on their property for drinking and irrigation water. Dug wells are large-diameter wells that are typically 10 to 30 feet deep. Some homeowners still install dug wells today. Due to their shallow depth and large diameter, dug wells are particularly susceptible to contamination from outside sources such as runoff or spills. To preserve the quality of the water in a dug well, you must install a properly designed well cover that will redirect rainwater and prevent runoff and spills from entering the well casing.

Purchase a dug well cover. Preferably, the cover should have a lip that hangs over the well by several inches to keep water out of the well. Some states have specific rules regarding the type of cover, so consult your state's environmental department for details.

Install the well cover so that it fits tightly over the well casing. If necessary, install a concrete pad to support and protect the well casing and cover. You can construct a pad by using wood or bricks to create a form that you can fill with concrete. Concrete pads typically extend at least 2 feet beyond the casing.

Place a lock on the well cover to keep pests and other people out of the well. Choose a lock that is weather resistant to prevent damage to the well over time.


Things You Will Need

  • Watertight concrete or metal vault, locking
  • Wood or Bricks
  • Concrete
  • Lock


  • Hire a certified well driller to install your well cover if you are uncomfortable with the mechanics of installation.

About the Author


Tracy Barnhart is an earth science expert. A professional geologist with over 16 years of technical writing experience, she has expanded her writing skills to include instructional articles on business, parenting, finance and science. She has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in geology from Furman University and the University of South Carolina.