Local News

Well Users Not Bound by Drought Restrictions

Posted October 17, 2007
Updated October 21, 2011

— State and local leaders are pleading with people to conserve water during the drought, but those who use well water are not under any restrictions.

Bob Thomas' Wake County home is on well water, but he has self-imposed water restrictions.

"I could [water] but I want to be safe," Thomas said.

Over the last few weeks, Thomas has watched the water in his above-ground pool dry up to a puddle. He said filling the pool is simply a waste of water.

Thomas was among those who listened intensely as Gov. Mike Easley asked everyone Monday to join together to save every drop of  water.

"I need every single community and every single citizen in North Carolina now doing everything they can to save every drop of water they can," Easley said in an address to the annual conference of the North Carolina League of Municipalities. "We have to act now to avoid running out of water."

Thomas said he, too, is worried his water will run out.

"I have to look out for myself," he said.

Jeff Lautier of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said private wells could affect surface water cities and towns use, however, there is no way to enforce water conservation measures on private wells without meters.

"It would be kind of a nightmare to try to enforce some type of temporary rules," Lautier said.

Wells take longer to be affected by the drought, but they can also take longer to recover.


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  • silverado32 Oct 18, 2007

    How do you go from talking about water wells to pesticides? Yall are just as bad as the media - veer from the main story. They are talking about well waters not restricted by the drought. Also before you go complaining about pesticides sprayed on your food supply yall need to do the research about why chemicals are used in the first place. What you eat out of the store is just as healthy as the box of cookies. What do you think the foods from China or other countries are like and you eat it everyday. They have no restrictions for what they can use for pesticides. THINK ABOUT THAT FOR AWHILE!

  • shine Oct 18, 2007

    soilder_medic.... made a good point saying people with wells have a " higher priorities". Of course that would not be all of us or ... or not to say that the good people on city and county water are not conserving...... I have been on well water since 1989, mine has never gone dry and I live on a hill. It is also a shallow well and not a deep one. I have great water, and carry a gallon of it everywhere I go. We have seen a few droughts, but you take care of the well just like you take care of your last few dollars until you get paid on Friday... The things you do not need - you do without. The things you do need - "well" sometimes you have to wait an extra day or so to get.

  • PirateMan Oct 17, 2007

    I am on town water, but I have found that most people that are on wells are usually conservative with water in times like this because they know if they run out that they are on their own.

  • CombatMed Oct 17, 2007

    I agree with whoever said that we well users are more conscious of dwindling supply from the get-go. We live on a 200+ acre farm and while we've not had a problem since the well was down some 40 years ago, we still take care of what we do have. It's not spitting or sputtering and it acts just as normal as it does when we're not in a drought, but we still take proactive measures. We no longer wash any of our personal cars here at home, and we only wash farm-related equipment when it starts prohibiting the effectiveness of said equipment. We have several wells put down on the property in different regions which was an ingenious plan put down by my father (who did it himself) long ago. Just have to do your part and know that the LORD knows what's best, so pray. He's always brought us out of struggles right?

  • normson7 Oct 17, 2007

    I have recently moved to an upscale development in northern Wake County, and all in the neighborhood are on wells. My neighbor next door has spent the past two months putting out new turf and watering almost daily, another neighbor has a fountain that he lights and runs all night. It shows how selfish and out of touch the wealthy in the area really are. Sad but true.

  • tmedlin Oct 17, 2007

    I read a great post earlier - "I don't wash my car - the dirt is all that's holding it together!"

  • garnertoy Oct 17, 2007

    its a serious time

  • enigma1469 Oct 17, 2007

    Most of us well users have more common sense than yall city dwellers. We don't get water out of those magic pipes that yall have.

  • Love my boys Oct 17, 2007

    Let's see - the last time my lawn was watered was...when did it rain last? The last time my car was washed was...the day I bought it! AND, I made sure the company washing it was using recycled water.

  • cj Oct 17, 2007

    I may be on a well but I am very conservative with the water. Just because it is a well does not mean that it can't go dry. The well depends on underground streams and rain (lots of it) in order to continue to produce. When there is a drought I conserve. I use a dishpan to wash dishes and then pour that water on my plants. I try to wash as few loads as possible and make sure that it is a full washer.