Local News

Well Water-Levels Sink as Rain Stays Away

Posted August 20, 2007 7:11 p.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2007 11:11 p.m. EDT

— The drought afflicting at least three-quarters of the state is going underground in the Triangle, draining the reservoirs of wells.

Officials at the state Division of Water Resources said water wells are running low across the state.

Local well companies said they're experiencing a business increase that confirms wells across the Triangle are also running dry.

Landon Phillips, with N.W. Poole Well Co., said he's been getting calls from people across Wake County "saying we are out of water here, out of water there."

An increasing number of residents are drilling new wells or pushing existing holes deeper to hit water again, said Greg Bright, with Wake County's Water Quality Division. Well diggers are going "as deep as 600, 800, even 1,000 feet deep" to find water, Bright said.

"Just because you're on a well, don't think you are immune to the drought," Bright cautioned.

Well water releases residents from following water restrictions that some cities have imposed on their water customers, but that freedom comes with disadvantages.

During drought, well levels do not drop as quickly as surface water does, but the water supply in wells takes longer to be replenished, state officials said. Sediment in water and low pressure may indicate water is running low in a well.

The level of well water in the Triangle is almost as low as it was during the drought of 2002, state officials said. Those low levels could persist into November, according to state estimates.

"The only I really say is, you pray for a long-lasting well and pray for rain," Phillips said.