Water & Sewer

Private Wells

Many rural residents rely on private wells and cisterns as their drinking water source. In Hamilton, we estimate that there are about 10,000 private wells and cisterns in use.

The condition of water wells and safety of its water is the responsibility of the well owner. Unacceptable levels of bacteria, such as E.coli can contaminate a private water supply and put the health of those who use it at risk. Even a very small change in the well's structure, such as crack or a change in the environment such as heavy rain can result in significant changes to water quality.  Public Health Services recommends private well and cistern owners do regular bacterial testing of their well and cistern water

Contact the Water Wells Help Desk at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment if you have questions or are looking for information about:

  • your individual water well drilling records
  • materials for wells such as well tags, well record forms, homeowner packages
  • licensing associated with well construction
  • submission of completed water well records
  • follow-up actions for well owners with poor water quality tests
  • regulatory requirements under Regulation 903 (Wells) under the Ontario Water Resources Act.

Water Wells Help Desk
Phone: 1-888-396-9355
Fax: 416-235-5960
Email: [email protected]

Abandoned wells

All abandoned wells raise health, safety and environmental concerns. Contaminated surface water, agricultural runoff and effluent from private sewage disposal systems can enter the groundwater through abandoned wells and cause pollution of other wells in the area used for drinking water. If you have an abandoned well that is no longer in use, please check the following resources based on your location for funding to decommission your well.

Hamilton Conservation Authority 
Phone: 905-525-2181, Ext 181

Conservation Halton
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 905-336-1158, Ext 2263