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Drought causing wells to run dry

5:17 PM, Jul 18, 2012   |    comments
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Workers drilling a new well at an Allendale home.

ALLENDALE, Mich. (WZZM)- Homeowners are watering their lawns more and farmers are doing more irrigation to keep their crops alive -- and all that extra use is causing problems for privately-owned wells.

Ben Noordermeer started having problems with his well three days ago. He figured it had something to do with the drought.

"We haven't had rain -- a good rain -- in six weeks," says Noordermeer.  "We're getting low on water."

The Noordermeer family rely on their well water. Three days ago, the water pressure inside their home was low.

"Yesterday, we woke up to take a shower, and there was nothing left," he says.

The Noordermeers called Wahfield Drilling.  Workers found out that the well pump, which was 75 feet down, was not getting anything from the water table. In parts of Allendale, the water tables are said to be about 45 feet below the surface.

"Too much water being used up out of the vein.  That lowers the natural water table," says Ron Strouse.

Strouse says his company has been busy with several calls about dry wells.

The Noordermeers' 35-year-old pump had to replaced, and a new one was lowered an additional 75 feet. Workers say there shouldn't be anymore problems.

"We know we have water at 120 feet, so we'll be good," says Noordermeer.

The homeowner says it's been difficult going without water.

"You don't even realize it," Noordermeer says.  "I played baseball last night, and afterward I couldn't get a glass of water or even a shower."

Replacing a private well can cost at least $6,000, depending on the drilling site and equipment needed.

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