Some wells go dry, aquifer looks OK - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Some wells go dry, aquifer looks OK

May 24, 2007

Lee County -- Some wells in Tift and Colquitt Counties are going dry because of the drought, and people who dig wells say they are swamped with calls.  Albany well drilling businesses say they are starting to hear about problems as well. 

A new well drilled in Lee County, cracks 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.

"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," Thompson said.

Albany wells 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.

 "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.

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. "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. 

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.

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