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 Date this page was last updated:  05/23/2013

West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training

"Pure Water for Well Plugging"


An operator of a West Virginia underground mine recently experienced a problem during a well mine-through that we believe should be brought to the attention of other mine operators.  After the well had been mined through, this particular operator determined that the expanding cement used to plug the well apparently had not hardened and or set up as expected.  the cement mixture at the coal seam level was described as soft a not solid.  This compromised the integrity of the well plug causing a quantity of methane to be released during and after the mine through.

Regrettably, a sample of the cement was not taken for chemical analysis.  However, during discussions of possible causes it was observed that impure water might have been used as part of the cement mixing process.

Given the high number of water treatment facilities, ponds and other water sources located throughout the industry from which mine operators may draw water that has been chemically treated is is important that we remind operators of the the importance of using pure water for cement mixing purposes.  It is imperative that pure water be used in cement mixtures used to plug wells for mine through purposed.  Water that may be contaminated or contain harsh chemical compounds as is often the cast at mine-sites must not be used in cement mixing operations. This is especially important for cement used to plug wells.  For more information contact Terry Farley in our Charleston Office (304-558-1425) or email.

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