Private wells drying up in drought-stricken areas - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Private wells drying up in drought-stricken areas

MADISON (WKOW) -- The drought continues, and more heat is on the way. It's all taking a toll on homeowners' private wells.

State drinking water officials are getting reports of private wells drying up in southern Wisconsin. Water conservation is just another concern for some farmers right now.

The Bakken family's farm in Pleasant Springs is wilting. With no irrigation system, the drought is a death sentence for crops.

"We've got 32 acres of corn and 18 acres of hay and 2 acres of tobacco and it's all struggling," says Mark Bakken.

It was yet another blow, when they found out their well pump stopped working. Well repair worker Dean Harding, from The Pump Connection, came out to help bring back their water on Saturday.

"People in the agriculture community with livestock... it's critical to keep them in water. Those are the calls that get priority with us," says Harding.

Harding has been working around the clock responding to calls for help, seven days a week. In the past few weeks, he's seen dried up wells, collapsed wells, and overworked pumps.

"The more you turn it on and off it tends to wear out the control box and overworks the electronics. It overworks the pump and that's how pumps burn out," says Harding.

The Bakken's pump problem was a quick fix, but not everyone will be as lucky. Harding thinks he'll see even more wells drying up as the drought continues, with no relief in sight.

Harding says you should not water your lawn, and if you need to water plants or a garden, you should make sure to do it all at once, to eliminate stress on the pump.

Well owners who have a problem with their pumps should call a well driller or pump installer. Visit the DNR's website for a list of area companies.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources advises private well owners to keep a close eye on your pumps during the drought.

Water officials say the dry conditions are taking a toll on private wells. Some are drying up and others are being overworked, causing problems with drinking water resources.

The dropping water table is caused by the lack of snow last winter, an early spring which caused plants to pull moisture out of the ground earlier, the lack of rain and high heat.

Well owners who have a problem with their pumps should call a well driller or pump installer to help them.

Visit the DNR's website for a list of area companies.

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