A well decommissioning day was held earlier this week, hoping to educate and possibly entice local producers.
The event, put on by the Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards, invited farmers and rural landowners out to the community of Eyebrow so they could see the process themselves and get more information on what goes into the paperwork.
"It's good for them to see it's not a humongous episode to do this stuff. I think the paperwork can be a little intimidating because you're dealing with some large organizations," explained Shelley Fiorito, Ag and Environmental Technician with the Watershed Stewards. "We're working with the Ministry of Agriculture and we're working with the Water Security Agency, so there's some rules and regulations involved and it can be a little intimidating I think."
Not only does it make the area more safe for those who may not know a well is located there, but Fiorito also said producers have a chance to get some of their money back.
"The cost of the well decommissioning you are able to get back 50% of all those eligible costs up to a maximum of $10,000, which covers more than what the well decommissionings normally cost providing there are no complications with the well decommissioning - and nine times out of ten there isn't. They've got the opportunity to get half their money back on that, which is an awesome savings," said Fiorito. "The program is also interested in protecting groundwater and surface water, leaving defused wells open and accessible is a safety risk just for access and it's also an issue for contamination. If it's an open well it leaves the opportunity for contaminants to get into the water system and into the underground aquifers which can expand and be quite widespread."
To find out more information about upcoming Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards events, click here.