Wells Drying Up

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

Like dried up corn stalks and brown front lawns, a busy season for well drillers is a sympton of drought.

"Last week, I went to turn on the faucet and there was just a trickle," Tonya Pierman explains.

The well that feeds her home in Bath went dry last Friday. She called Dyer Well Drilling, like many neighbors and other people in the area before her.

In DeWitt, Williamston and Bath especially, they've been busy lowering wells and replacing burned out pumps.

"There is not enough water pressure, enough flow and it's lowering the tables in the well," Gordon Reeder, a service tech with Dyer, explains. He says low water in the Great Lakes makes low water tables all over the state, which means many wells simply aren't deep enough.

The cost to replace and lower the pump means reaching deep, deep into your pocket. Pierman's work was $1,200 dollars.

The problem at this point is so bad it's meant Dyer is even digging new wells, for customers who'd done fine with shallow--say 75 foot wells--in the past.

What's more it's not a trend that's easily reversed.

"If it rains right now," Reeder says, "it's still a long time before that rain gets into the table itself."

It likely won't get better until both, a rainier season, and a cooler one.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Gwen Location: Holt on Aug 15, 2007 at 05:55 AM
    Can someone explain how water is "drilled" for? Doesn't it lay in a big lake under the ground like oil, just waiting for someone to tap into it? What does rain have to do with the amount of water in the ground?
  • by Sharie Location: Hart Well Drilling on Aug 14, 2007 at 02:46 PM
    I am concerned that area residents will think that their well is in danger of drying up. I can assure you that in most cases, especially in mid- Michigan, this just isn’t going to happen. In most cases where customers call with no water or low pressure, it is going to be a maintenance issue. Anything from a worn pump to a plugged water filter in their basement. Does the water table fluctuate? Yes, but usually measured in inches, not enough to affect most properly constructed wells. The water level is usually cyclical, as is the Great Lakes. Most wells in this area terminate in the bedrock, which has little influence from the amount of rain we have had this summer. Other factors can influence the water level in a well, large capacity pumps in the area or new sub divisions being built, both by drawing large amounts of ground water can lower the water level in a well. But this is a whole other can of worms.
  • by Kristen Location: Onondaga, MI on Aug 14, 2007 at 10:19 AM
    Please tell me how a well can just dry up from the lack of a few inches of rain. I don't understand the sudden lack of water even though it hasn't rained normally this summer. Why is it just a few wells drying up and not everyone's? Is there a danger of city water supplies drying up also? What is being used as a factual basis for this information? Is this just a scam to scare people into spending money when they don't have to?
  • by Travis Location: Holt on Aug 14, 2007 at 03:55 AM
    Thank you so much for airing this broadcast. It really helped us to understand what is happened with our well. We would really enjoy a follow up on this story, like what to expect when a company comes out and drills a new well so we can be prepared with our questions. We moved from the city out to the country and like most of our neighbors, we all take our water for granted having gotten used to city water.
  • by Nick Location: Laingsburg on Aug 13, 2007 at 08:24 PM
    Dyer Well has put in a couple wells for my family and darn good ones I might add. I haven't had a problem but I understand the exceptionally dry weather can affect the water table. Mike Dyer is customer oriented - quick service and customer satisfaction.
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