Knox Public Health encourages landowners to learn more about the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Orphan Well Program. The Orphan Well Program aims to plug abandoned oil and gas wells (also known as Orphan Wells).The program is coordinated by the Oil and Gas Resources Division, it is recognized as one of the most well-funded and organized in the nation.
Proper plugging of orphan wells is necessary to protect public health and safety, conserve natural resources, and develop Ohio’s oil and gas resources efficiently.
The Oil and Gas Resources Division is increasing efforts to locate orphan wells across Ohio. Fourteen orphan wells were identified in Knox County in 2021 using existing records; however, more are likely to exist. Landowners can report potential abandoned wells for investigation or the division can conduct aerial magnetic surveys using drone technology flown approximately 150 feet above the surface to locate orphan wells. Landowners can submit their land for potential survey by completing the appropriate form online.To report an orphan well or for general questions call 330-308-0007.