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Mike Hendrick (right) of Arrow Well and Pump works on the wiring for a pump while Mike Strange uses a trencher to finish drilling a trench to lay well work for a home being built in the Trails of Terracotta subdivision in rural North Ottawa. Rural residents have started taking steps to combat dropping well water levels.
NewsTribune photo/Amanda Whitlock
By Kevin Caufield and Alicia LeGrand NewsTribune reporters
The effect of the months-long drought in the Illinois Valley is apparent to Mike Strange. Not only are his customers demanding more and deeper water wells, his equipment is having a hard time boring through the typically moist first five feet of ground. “This will be a big year with new construction needing to dig deeper and current owners needing water,” said Strange, owner of Arrow Well and Pump in Ottawa. “This is an ongoing problem and people are worried.” Water levels in Illinois Valley aquifers located deep underground are dropping due to persistent drought conditions locally and throughout the Midwest. And given the lack of rain and snow for the past two years, rural residents that are dependent upon private wells are starting to take measures. La Salle County director of environmental health Ted Pumo said calls to the health department have begun to steadily trickle in from concerned rural residents about the affect the recent drought is having on their private water wells. “There may be a problem with diminished water levels due to the lack of recharge,” Pumo said. “Those with private wells are probably already thinking about drilling deeper because it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting the rain or snow we are accustomed to anytime soon.” The “recharge” Pumo referred to is the process of how underground aquifers remain full of water. As it rains and snows, that moisture seeps into the ground and gravity eventually pulls it down until it is collected into an aquifer. The process takes about three years, depending on the aquifer’s depth. Given recent drought conditions, Pumo said he anticipates most wells will have major depth issues next year. “But most people who depend on private wells and have experienced droughts in the past are most likely already considering whether they have to dig deeper,” Pumo said. “If we don’t get more rain and snow, they’ll likely need to.” Strange suggested the following tips to keep water levels up without drilling: - Cutback on softener use. It will back flush every three days and absorbs water. - Do less laundry or use a Laundromat. - Check for leaky plumbing. - Take shorter showers If you still have problems, Strange said to check if your pump system is working properly and have your water level measured.
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013
Article comment by:
You are so right. Man is doing his very best to help clean the water we drink, the air we breath and remove extra carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. More guns are being built to supplement the ones that killed all the Bison and other wild animals and by doing so he stopped them from urinating into the aquifers and polluting the ground water. They no longer pass gas so the air I cleaner and man is cutting more trees every day so lightning starts fewer forest fires thereby stopping pollutants from fouling the air and slowing global warming. I can't see why so many are complaining. After all, all that is needed to help things progress is a little more prayer, Don't ya think?
Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013
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All is connected in nature. Millions of gallons of water are used for drilling, fracking, mining, and watering. The earth is adjusting to the lack of trees and natural forest to produce rain. Sand that cleansed our aquifers, rivers, and lakes is taken away. Man is causing this condition in many ways. To turn a blind eye, not accept responsibility, and further devastate natural resources will create further lack. Wake up and co-operate with nature. Consider your investments in those industries, support alternative fuels, and appreciate the gifts we receive every day from mother earth. Think, change, and invent new ways to thrive. Harmony with nature will nurture everyone.
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