Digging Deeper: The cost of a new well - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: The cost of a new well

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Many homes in south Georgia will go without water because families can't afford to repair their wells. Cost to repair a well can top $7,000 depending on where you live.

Several families in Sasser have moved out of their homes and in with family until the water table returns and they wells have water again.  Water experts worry that may not be until this winter without tropical showers.

Many well owners one of two options to keep the water running at their homes, in some cases they can lower their pumps, but having to dig deeper to put in a new well can come at a high price.

South Georgia families who've had to dig a new well or dig their well deeper as south Georgia's water table shrinks are finding out the price of having water can be costly. First there's the water needed to start drilling the well.

"It's costing 25 dollars a load," said Marian Ford, of SOWEGA Drilling.

It can take up to four loads of water to complete the dig, so that's a hundred dollars to start. Where you live, could be the different between several hundred and several thousand dollars. In Worth County, crews have been able to lower pumps.

"Some wells are deeper than others and some of them can be lowered 25 feet and some of them can't be lowered only to the bottom of the well," said Ford.

In Terrell and Tift Counties where it's taken drills to find water.

"It can be anywhere from three to six thousand dollars, it all depends on what county we're in," said Ford.

Digging deeper, we learned the deeper you go, the more costly it is.

"It's going to cost, just like in Tift County, It's going to cost you more in Tift County than in Terrell County," said Ford.

In some south Georgia locations the aquifer is pretty deep.

"The ones in Turner County go anywhere from 380 to 480 (feet)," said Ford.

Once crews finally reach water, there's the cost to have it tested, on average that's about 25 dollars.

"They have to come out and get a sample and all and have it tested," said Ford.

On average it can cost a family around 45-hundred dollars to deepen a well. A precious price to pay for such a viral resource you can't live without.

A lot of people are asking if there's help paying that big price tag, so we dug a little further.

We did find one resource in Early County called Golden Triangle Resource Conservation and Development Council. They offer low interest well repair and replacement loans.

• Provides low- interest loans to low income homeowners in rural areas to repair or renovate an existing well system or replace a non-functioning well

• Available for the following counties: Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Seminole, and Terrell

• Not available for a new home construction

• Well cannot be used as a substitute for city water service

• Loans cannot pay for home plumbing, or septic systems

For more information, please contact: The Golden Triangle Resource Conservation and Development Council at 229/723-3841

We also contacted Congressman Sanford Bishop's office who told us the USDA Rural Development Authority http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Home.html and Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority http://www.gefa.org/Index.aspx?page=2 has some resources available.

The size of your well pump depends on the number of bathrooms and appliances that need water to run. Prices can run from $200 to $600.

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