Well casing, inadequate height: what's the recommendation?

Installation of a wellhouse?

The top of the casings should be a minimum of 12 inches above a concrete floor and 18 inches above the ground (soil) and that excludes that caping.

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That’s the requirement, but what’s the recommendation for caps that are too low? The InterNACHI course just said 12". Is there a standard for minimum height? Like a code? I don’t see anything at all about wells in the IPC.
The one book I had on Well and Septic turned out to be pretty useless.

General Well Construction Guidelines:

  1. Well casing should protrude at least twelve inches above the ground level. (Check code for casing material requirements: plastic or steel)

  2. For wells drilled into rock (ledge, bedrock), the well casing should extend into solid, fresh, unweathered rock.

  3. The ground surface surrounding the wellhead should slope away to divert surface water from flowing or ponding around the well.

  4. A well cap should seal the top of the well casing. Venting holes should be screened to prevent insects from entering the well. (An unsealed or poorly sealed well can be a conduit for bacteria and surface water contamination).

  5. Well grout (code may specify cement and/or bentonite clay) should be used to seal around outside of the well casing to a depth of 10 to 20 feet starting near the ground surface.

  6. If you live in a cold climate the water line connecting the well to the house should be below the frost line (usually 4 to 6 feet). A “pitless adapter” is typically used for this connection to take water from the well to the home. This connection needs to watertight.

  7. The well casing should not be used as an electrical ground for the house because it may cause corrosion of the casing or well fittings through electrolysis.

  8. After installation or service work the well should be sanitized with a disinfection solution (usually chlorine). The solution should be left in the well and plumbing system for twelve or more hours before flushing.

  9. Well water should be tested after the sanitation process to determine if there are any water quality concerns present. Refer to http://www.agwt.org/watertest.htm for water testing recommendations.


You can use this special coupler extension to add on.

An extension sounds like a better recommendation than a wellhouse.

My information was based on what a particular state’s requirement is. I guess it’s going to vary between states and local jurisdictions.

The Guidelines mention venting holes in the cap that should be screened, but seems to me that could allow contamination by microbial pathogens, too. I guess adequate clearance from grade also reduces the chance of that happening.

My well is 3 years old, The cap is sealed with a rubber gasket with no vents, It is bolted on so you can’t just walk up to it and remove the cap, you need tools to remove it.
download (3)

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Don’t see well houses in Maine here that have casings.

fake rock.


I’ll take 3 if she’s included… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Not if you’ve seen the electric, ride on, fertilizer spreaders around here. They pitch that stuff everywhere.

Too many if’s. There are wells all over the place in Maine and no one has problems with the standard well cap that is a minimum of 12" above grade.

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The IPC, and of course IRC, do cover well requirements. These are from the 2018 version of the IPC and IRC


602.3.1 Sources. Dependent on geological and soil condi-
tions and the amount of rainfall, individual water supplies
are of the following types: drilled well, driven well, dug
well, bored well, spring, stream or cistern. Surface bodies
of water and land cisterns shall not be sources of individ-
ual water supply unless properly treated by approved
means to prevent contamination. Individual water supplies
shall be constructed and installed in accordance with the
applicable state and local laws. Where such laws do not
address all of the requirements set forth in NGWA-01,
individual water supplies shall comply with NGWA-01 for
those requirements not addressed by state and local laws.


P2602.1 General. The water-distribution system of any build-
ing or premises where plumbing fixtures are installed shall be
connected to a public water supply. Where a public water-sup-
ply system is not available, or connection to the supply is not
feasible, an individual water supply shall be provided. Individ-
ual water supplies shall be constructed and installed in accor-
dance with the applicable state and local laws. Where such laws
do not address the requirements set forth in NGWA-01, indi-
vidual water supplies shall comply with NGWA-01 for those
requirements not addressed by state and local laws. …

First it falls on State and local laws. If none are present then it falls to NGWA standard ANSI/NGWA 01—14: Water Well Construction Standard . If you are so inclined you can of course purchase the standard here https://my.ngwa.org/NC__Product?id=a183800000e2xlyAAA .

Here are the guidelines for the State of Maine on wells.
I am sure each state has similar;

I was thinking the holes needing screens that Kenton mentioned.

The well cap is the cover on top of the well casing that sticks out of the ground. … Most caps, which are usually aluminum or thermoplastic, include a vented screen so that the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the well casing may be equalized when water is pumped from the well.

Should you install a sanitary well cap on your well?

A sanitary well cap is recommended for all existing and new water wells. Even if your
well is currently bacteria-free, a sanitary well cap will help ensure that it does not
become contaminated in the future by insects or other contaminants around the well
head. If your well tests positive for coliform bacteria, a sanitary well cap may help to solve the problem, especially if your well contains small numbers of bacteria. In this
case, you should first remove any obvious insects or nests and disinfect your well with
chlorine to kill all existing bacteria.

Oh, I agree with you.

Just info to help Kenton