If the West Nile Virus wasn’t enough to deal with abandoned water wells perhaps the Zika Virus will be. Click on the pdf files to learn more or read excerpts below.
Mosquitoes can get inside broken or unsealed septic tanks and lay eggs. Each day thousands of mosquitoes emerge from poorly maintained septic tanks. These mosquitoes are capable of spreading viruses like dengue, West Nile, and chikungunya that can cause serious illness.
Risks Posed by Abandoned Wells Aquifers are protected from surface contamination by overlying layers of strata. As water passes through these layers of material, contaminants are attenuated resulting in water from most freshwater aquifers to be able to be consumed or used for other purposes with minimal or no treatment. Water wells puncture the natural protective system that overlays aquifers and thus provide potential pathways for contaminants to bypass the natural systems of attenuation. Abandoned wells pose a particular risk as many were constructed improperly leaving an open annular space on the outside of the casing which can act as a direct contaminant pathway into the aquifer and also because they are prone to casing and well head corrosion which expose the well to surface contamination. This can cause aquifer contamination from the surface and cross contamination from other aquifers (see Figures 1 and 2 below).