Rep. Kiel: Tips for handling problems with wells
CROOKSTON – State Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, said the state is offering resource guidance to people in Polk and Red Lake counties dealing with well issues amid a drought warning in Minnesota.
As of Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported about half of Polk County is experiencing severe drought and the rest of the county is experiencing extreme drought. Most of Red Lake County is experiencing extreme drought. These conditions are affecting the groundwater supply in southern Red Lake and central Polk counties.
Kiel said she has been in touch with farmers who irrigate, as well as many homeowners who are having issues with wells.
“We are seeing a double-whammy, where dry conditions are leading to greater groundwater usage, yet our groundwater levels are not being recharged by rain,” Kiel said. “More and more wells are being depleted, creating problems on many levels. The big thing is to make sure you reach out to a licensed driller as soon as you detect an issue with your well.”
According to a DNR news release, recommendations include:
What can people do to avoid an out-of-water situation?
- Encourage all family members to conserve water as much as possible. Water use impacts the well water level. For ideas about indoor and outdoor water conservation visit: DNR Water Conservation webpage and https://www.ready.gov/drought
- Have an emergency plan for the family, bottled water handy, and the name and number of a licensed well driller.
- Be aware of changes in the well, the water from the well and the area around the well. Changes in how often the pump runs, or in the smell or color of the water, can be signs of potential problems.
What if people go out of water?
- Call a licensed well driller at the first sign of trouble. Many drillers are very busy during the drought, so they might not be able to visit right away.
- If there is a high-volume water user nearby, contact that user and try to work out a solution together.
- If you are unable to restore your water supply, contact the DNR’s well interference coordinator at 651-259-5034 or the DNR area hydrologist for Polk and Red Lake counties at 218-219-8585.