Got A Well? You’d Better Start Taking Shorter Showers.
Aaahhh... Life in the country.
A few years ago, my wife and I bought a house a bit further out in Hampden, almost on the Newburgh line. Living out that way, naturally the house has a well and a septic tank. Two things I've never had to deal with before this house. Other people seem to do just fine with it, so it didn't stress me out too much when we bought it.
And although I've been thoroughly enjoying the constant sunshine so far this spring/summer, I've finally begun to get a little worried about my well running dry. There haven't been any solid indicators of it yet, but now it's one of those things that keeps me scoping the forecast and praying for rain.
Pretty much the whole state is affected.
Depending on where you are, it could be touch and go. Around the state, places that aren't already in actual drought conditions are listed as 'abnormally dry.' So what can be done? Anything? Well, yes. Many well owners have dealt with this before, but you new well owners like me, might need to hear some of this.
I've already seen people on Reddit talking about their wells running dry, so my wife and I sat down over coffee over the weekend to get our game-plan together. Here were some of our ideas, as well as a few from a BDN article from a couple years back...
- Taking shorter showers
- Shutting the water off while we lather our hands when hand washing
- Put a brick in the back of the toilet to use less water during a flush
- If it's yellow, let it mellow... you know the rest.
- Stop watering the lawn or flower beds
- Collect whatever rain water there is for flowers
- Only run the dishwasher when it's full
- Make sure leaks are all taken care of
Plan for the worst, hope for the best.
The bummer is, if your well runs dry there's a good chance you won't have water again until fall. It would takes several days in a row of soaking rain to help at all. Even then, plants and trees are sucking up most of the rainwater before it ever gets deep enough into the ground. There's also no 100% reliable way to tell when it's about to happen.
There's a few signs to watch out for though. If your faucets sputter, or if the water starts to look or smell funny. Or if there's sediment coming up in your pipes, that could be another sign. It also never hurts to check in with your neighbors and see if they're having issues. If they are, you may be next.