Drought problems for South Georgia wells - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Drought problems for South Georgia wells

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May 24, 2007

Lee County  -- A new well being drilled in Lee County, cracking into the Floridan Aquifer at about 130 feet, sending forward a gush of clean water. Drillers say that shows the water level is low. Harvey Drilling owner Ryan Thompson said "it's alarming, we should take notice of what's going on."

 Thompson said many Albany and Lee County pumps were lowered in the 2001 drought, and while they have not gone dry, muddy and discolored water problems are being reported Thompson said "I think a lot of it is due basically to the drought. No water going back, the aquifer under a lot of stress. A lot of things can break loose and start coming."

Wells in Albany are generally around 150 feet, but the average well depth in Tift and Colquitt County needs to be around 300 feet, and that is why so many are going dry there. Thompson said "in those areas the level of that aquifer is substantially deeper than we are here. It takes that water a lot longer to get down into the aquifer than it does here."

Thompson said it's too early to panic, the Floridan Aquifer is one of the largest in the world, but he says South Georgia needs to take notice. The Floridan Aquifer system covers some 100,000  square miles of Georgia and Florida.

 According to the United States Geological Survey in 2000, close to ten million people got their drinking water from the aquifer system.  Thompson said "if we don't get any rain, and take it all out. There's nothing to put it back, yea we could go dry."

Thompson said his crews are working about 60 hours a week drilling and making repairs, as the drought is starting now to affect South Georgia water wells, some going dry.

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