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Q: Are water wells running dry?

A: Shallow wells are generally the wells that you hear about "running dry" during droughts. Shallow wells are like putting a straw into the top of a glass of water. If you drink and don't lower the straw toward the glass bottom, you will end up sucking air. There is still water in the glass; your straw is just sitting above it.  

Q: How fast will water levels in a well recover after a rain?

A: Typically, a well will not recover after just one rainfall event. It takes several slow, soaking rains for the water to filter through the ground. Shallower wells may see their water levels rise more quickly with a return of rain. Deeper wells are likely to ride out a drought with no problems; but if they are affected, it will take more rainfall - maybe several months - to filter down to their depth. 

Q: What should I do if my well is affected?

A: The only way to insure you get water back in your well is to get it deepened. 

Q: How do I go about getting my drilled well deepened?

A: Contact a local, reputable drilling contractor who is familiar with local ground water conditions and is familiar with the state-of-the-art drinking water construction methods. States and local governments may have contractor licensing and well construction laws. Recommended Contractors

Q: Will nearby, larger well systems impact home wells?

A: The increased pumping of larger capacity well systems during a drought may cause the ground water level to be drawn down. The declining ground water level may then be below your pump’s intake. The answer again is to drill deeper.

Q: Does the drought impact ground water quality?

A: In general, there is no adverse impact on overall ground water quality from a drought. If a homeowner drills a deeper well in response to a drought, the homeowner may end up with more mineralized water. This is because the water has been in the ground longer and may have taken on some of the characteristics of the surrounding rock formations. The homeowner may also gain water quality benefits from a deeper, properly constructed well. These deeper wells are better protected from surface man-induced contamination sources, such as lawn fertilizer applications or accidental spills. 

Q: Is this drought a one-year event or multi-year cycle?

A: The National Ground Water Association recommends that you contact the National Weather Service, http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwslinks.html, or forecasters in your area for their assessment of long-term weather patterns.