Local News

Dry Wells Could Lead Some People to 'Drill' For Answers

Posted August 18, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— North Carolina is still in an extreme drought, and we may feel the effects for the rest of the year.

In the coming months, if we do not get a lot more rain, many people will have to drill more wells to replace the ones that dry up.

This year's heat has meant the Mapple View Farm has used a lot more water to keep its cows cool, collected and ready to produce milk.

"The biggest thing that helps keep the cows going is the mister that we have over the cows at the feed bunk," said farm manager Russ Seibert.

The higher water use and a drier than normal spring and summer has drained the farm's wells close to the danger point.

"We have to get another well drilled. We are getting a little bit on the short side of the water. We're having to be real conservative with it all," said Seibert.

The company doing the drilling said that it has not seen any more wells dry up this year than in past years.

"Probably 10 percent of what we are doing is replacement wells, and that is about normal for this time of year," said David Hutson, drilling company owner.

The state says there could be more people drilling replacement wells this fall and winter.

Hydrogeologist Steve Webb said the water tables are much lower than they were a year ago, and we are about to head into the three driest months of the year in North Carolina.

"Right now we are probably set up to see some of the lowest water levels we've seen in many years across many parts of the state whether we get normal rainfall from here on out or not," said Webb.

Mapple View Farm thinks it will be ready if that happens.

"Hopefully, they (the drilling company) will hit a good one," said Seibert.

There are some dry well warning signs people need to look out for.

  1. Low water pressure
  2. More sediment in the water
  3. More air in the water

If you do see one of these signs, you should check it out quickly.

Getting a new well drilled could cost $3,000.

Thecity of Raleighis sending out an appeal to 95,000 water customers. They will receive a postcard in the mail in the next few days. The cards say the extreme heat and drought are putting a strain on the reservoir. The notice asks customers to conserve water and offers water-saving guidelines.