Critical drought conditions causing concern for well owners

As the critical drought in western Massachusetts drags on, many municipalities are under water restrictions and now, we’re finding some privately-owned wells ar
Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 3:00 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - As the critical drought in western Massachusetts drags on, many municipalities are under water restrictions and now, we’re finding some privately-owned wells are running dry.

“We’ve had four wells that we’ve just drilled recently for people that have had zero water and that’s a panic situation,” said Joe Dilk Sr. with Connecticut Valley Artesian Well.

Dilk told Western Mass News that his family business is getting about three to four calls a week from homeowners with private wells who are seeing diminished water supply.

“It’s the surface wells that are giving us a problem right now. They’re replenished by the amount of rainfall you’re currently getting in the year,” Dilk added.

Surface wells are shallow and rely on wet weather, while artesian wells are much deeper and are drilled into the bedrock.

“It’s a permanent supply. You don’t have to worry about it whereas surface wells are based on the weather conditions of that current year,” Dilk noted.

If you notice reduced pressure, your pump running longer, dirty water, or sputtering faucets, your well water may be running low. An artesian well only takes one to two days to drill, but with increased demand, you could be left waiting.

“So if someone has a well that’s marginal, they wanna get in our schedule because right now, we’re scheduling five to six weeks out,” Dilk noted.

The only other option is to wait for more rain. Dilk has seen worse droughts before, but with September typically being our driest month, he said we’re not over the hump yet.

“Back in ‘65, it was much worse and we’ve probably had two droughts since then that have been equal to or worse than this, but this one’s just getting started this one’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Dilk explained.

Also, be sure to follow your town or city’s water use restrictions, but the state recommends everyone minimize overall water use and stop all non-essential outdoor watering.