Drought Causing Wells to Run Dry in Connecticut - NBC Connecticut

Drought Causing Wells to Run Dry in Connecticut

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016)

    Imagine going 113 days without running water in your home. That’s been life for Laura Halloran, of Morris, and her two daughters. Their well ran dry on July 27, leaving them without water.

    "Every day since then has been so stressful,” Halloran said.

    For more than 3 months, the only water Laura and her family have been able to use come from 55 gallon drums outside of their home, where their once full well, ran out.

    “You're constantly wondering how much water is left in that barrel,” says Halloran. “And trying to figure out what meals you can cook without using too much water. And I will be glad not to carry buckets anymore."

    After months of hoping for rain and hauling water into their home, the Halloran’s decided to replace their 60 year old, 22ft. deep shallow well.

    "The well we have now is 360 ft. deep it's a drilled well,” said Larry Grela, president of Grela Well Drilling. “And the waters coming out of bed rock which will be more stable."

    "They struck water and I couldn't have been any happier if they hit oil,” Halloran said.

    "I'm going to shower. I'm going to take a bath. All those things that you take for granted and laundry at home, I can't imagine," Halloran said.

    "I mean I'm still going to be frugal with my water because now I really appreciate it. But you don't understand until you you've been, just short of 4 months we've been without water."

    The Hallorans are not alone with this struggle. More than 800,000 residents in Connecticut rely on well water.

    "The current trend is showing that the November data that we're collecting right now is the lowest that we've seen in anywhere from 15 to 30 years depending on the site," said Andrew Waite, a hydrologist at the United States Geologic Survey.

    With the drought worsening, the USGS has kicked their ground water data collecting into high gear.

    "We live and die by the weather,” Waite said. “So if it's a flood we're out there making extra measurements, and it it's a drought we do the same thing on the other end."

    That government data, available for free on the USGS web site, helps people like Grela when it comes to well drilling.

    "I do monitor it,” Grela said. “Because you know when people ask me you know do you think this is going to fix itself in the next few weeks all I can say is the long term forecast says no."

    "It's been tough, but it's amazing what you can do when you have to," Halloran said.

    Drilling a new well can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000 and the wait list is weeks long. With the winter months coming, drilling in a frozen ground will increase the cost to have a new well drilled.