Well Owners: Looks Like We’d Better Start Taking Shorter Showers.
Last year, my wife and I bought a house out in the more rural are of Hampden, almost on the Newburgh line. Living out that far, 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 indicators of it yet, but now it's one of those things that keeps me looking at the forecast and praying for rain.
It could be touch and go for some spots. 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. Most well owners have dealt with this before, but you new well owners like me, might need to hear some of this.
My wife and I sat down over coffee yesterday morning to get our game-plan together. Here were some of our ideas, as well as a few from the BDN.
- 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/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
The bummer is, if your well runs dry, you likely won't have water again til fall. It would takes several days in a row of soaking rain to help at all. Even then, plants and tress are sucking up most rainwater before it ever gets deep 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.
2020 would not be the year to run out of water. Handwashing is so important right now, and keeping things clean in general. So maybe it's time to do a little rain dance, and see if we can get Mother Nature to give us a nice solid drink. Until then, I'll just be over here biting my nails til they bleed.