What is well disclosure?
Well disclosure is the process by
which the seller of property
provides information to
the buyer and the state
about the location and
status of all wells on
the property. This
process is required by
state law, a portion of the Ground Water
Protection Act (Minnesota Statutes, section
103I.235). The law applies to all types of wells,
including wells used for drinking water,
irrigation, livestock, commercial or industrial
processing, heating or cooling, or monitoring.
These wells include drive-point (sand-point)
wells, drilled wells, and dug wells.
Why is well disclosure important?
Well disclosure gives valuable information to
the property buyer about the location and status
of wells – including unused or "abandoned" wells
– on property that is sold or transferred. Unused
wells provide a pathway through which
contaminants at the ground surface may move
down to the groundwater and contaminate nearby
wells. Groundwater provides drinking water to
three out of four residents in Minnesota and must
be protected from contamination. Identifying
and sealing unused wells is one important way to
protect this valuable resource.
Is the seller liable for false disclosure?
Yes. A seller is liable to the buyer for
reasonable attorney fees and costs related to
sealing of the well if the seller knew or had
reason to know but failed to disclose the
existence or known status of a well at the
time of sale. The buyer has six years
after the purchase of the property to bring
action against the seller (Minnesota Statutes,
When and how do I disclose wells on my
Before signing an agreement to sell or
transfer real property the seller must disclose
in writing to the buyer information about the
status and location of all known wells on the
property. This requirement also applies to
contract-for-deed sales. Included in the WELL
DISCLOSURE STATEMENT are:
1. the legal description and county;
2. a map showing the locati