Water Shortage Has Orange County Wishing for New Wells
Posted December 7, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
HILLSBOROUGH — Thousands of Triangle residents depend on wells for drinking and bathing water. The lack of rain has some of those wells running dry in Orange County.
With one of the driest periods in central North Carolina history, the Braxton family hired a Well and Pump Service to drill them a deeper well.
"I've never seen it this dry around here before," Winfred Braxton said.
The Braxton's old hand-dug well has not been as low as it is in three-quarters of a century.
"I'm afraid my well is going to give out," Braxton said.
The well did give out at the Bingham Wood's trailer park eight days ago. Betty Wade's water has been reduced to a trickle.
"I have been buying water at the grocery store," Wade said. "We have to microwave our water in order to get a shower. We've had to be a little inventive."
The low water level has meant an increase of business for Dennis Fair's Well and Pump Service. Roughly 40 percent of Orange County residents rely on wells, and dozens have gone dry.
"We have been working 16 hours a day for about 12 days straight," Fair said.
Braxton is just glad that he got the crew to his house when he did, because the drilling companies may soon be flooded with even more work.
"The weatherman said it'll be drier than usual this winter," Braxton said.
With rain across Orange County Tuesday night, residents were hoping the water level would rise.
A lot of residents say they will probably not get another well drilled because of the high cost.