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TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 4TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION
CHAPTER 76WATER WELL DRILLERS AND WATER WELL PUMP INSTALLERS
RULE §76.104Technical Requirements--Standards for Capping and Plugging of Wells and Plugging Wells that Penetrate Injurious Water Zones

(a) All wells which are required to be plugged or capped under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1901 and 1902 or this chapter shall be plugged and capped by a licensee or well owner in accordance with the following specifications and in compliance with the local groundwater conservation district rules or incorporated city ordinances:

  (1) all removable casing shall be removed from the well;

  (2) any existing surface completion shall be removed;

  (3) the entire well pressure filled via a tremie pipe with cement from bottom up to the land surface;

  (4) In lieu of the procedure in paragraph (3), the well shall be pressure filled via a tremie tube with clean bentonite grout of a minimum 9.1 pounds per gallon weight followed by a cement plug extending from land surface to a depth of not less than two (2) feet, or if the well to be plugged has one hundred (100) feet or less of standing water the entire well may be filled with a solid column of 3/8 inch or larger granular sodium bentonite hydrated at frequent intervals while strictly adhering to the manufacturers' recommended rate and method of application. If a bentonite grout is used, the entire well from not less than two (2) feet below land surface may be filled with the bentonite grout. The top two (2) feet above any bentonite grout or granular sodium bentonite shall be filled with cement as an atmospheric barrier. Bentonite grout may not be used if a water zone contains chlorides above one thousand five hundred (1,500) ppm or if hydrocarbons are present.

  (5) Injurious water shall be isolated from the fresh water zone(s) with cement plugs and the remainder of the wellbore filled with neat cement or clean bentonite grout of a minimum 9.1 weight followed by a cement plug extending from land surface to a depth of not less than two (2) feet.

(b) Large hand dug and bored wells thirty-six (36) inches or greater in diameter to one hundred (100) feet in depth may be plugged by back filling with compacted clay or caliche to surface. All removable debris shall be removed from the well. If the well contains standing water, it shall be chlorinated by adding chlorine bleach at a rate of one (1) gallon of bleach for every five hundred (500) gallons of standing water. The backfill material shall be mounded above the surrounding surface to compensate for settling.

(c) Wells which do not encounter groundwater (dry holes) may be plugged by backfilling with drill cuttings from total depth to the surface. The backfill material shall be mounded above the surrounding surface to compensate for settling.

(d) A non-deteriorated well which contains casing in good condition and is beneficial to the landowner can be capped with a covering capable of preventing surface pollutants from entering the well and sustaining weight of at least four hundred (400) pounds and constructed in such a way that the covering cannot be easily removed by hand.

(e) For the purpose of plugging a well, any licensee or landowner can remove the pump.


Source Note: The provisions of this §76.104 adopted to be effective March 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 1142; amended to be effective September 15, 2014, 39 TexReg 7090

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