By Keith Lotier – Special to TIMES NEWS
The Times News, © 2003

May 10, 2003

What a difference a year can make! Last year, while in the throes of a severe drought, many people worried their wells would go dry. Some wells even did dry up, much to the dismay of homeowners throughout the area.

This year, all you have to do is look at the ponds, lakes, streams and rivers to know that the drought is just a memory. Some people only have to look at their well to find evidence of the end of the drought.

This spring, some wells have suddenly become artesian wells. An artesian well has sufficient water and pressure to force water out of the top of the well casing without pumping.

In my job at Moyer Well Drilling, I’ve had close to a dozen inquiries in the last several weeks, from people concerned that there was something wrong with their well. In one case, the well was drilled in 2001 and had a steady water level of 90 feet. Now, it’s flowing three to five gallons per minute over the top. Incredible, when you consider that this translates to 4,000 to 7,000 gallons per day.

So, what can you do? There are artesian well caps that can be put on to hold back the pressure. Another solution is to install a pitless adapter in the well, and pipe the water underground to a safe and effective outlet. A pitless adapter is the fitting that not only connects to the pipe and pump in your well, but it also connects to the water line which feeds your home.

This fitting and pipe should be installed deep enough to avoid freezing in the winter.

Remember, as the owner of a well, you are the owner and operator of a private water system. It is to your benefit to have a basic understanding of your system and how it works. You’re not only responsible for the safe operation of your well, but you should also strive to conserve drinking water as a precious natural resource.

There are many good web sites to provide you with more information. You can access some through the Carbon County Groundwater Guardians Web site or you can contact your well professional.