Amid Extreme Drought, Wells Are Drying Up all around Southern New England

Well drilling companies are overwhelmed with requests for help from homeowners that have no water.

By: Tim Studebaker

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COVENTRY, R.I. (WLNE) – We take it for granted.  You turn on the faucet at home, and you expect the water to flow.  But, what if it doesn’t?  That’s the reality for some homeowners with wells, after a very dry summer.

John Lemme, owner of J. Lemme Well & Pump Service says, “It’s the driest I’ve seen in my career.  31 years… There’s been days that between my office and my cell phone, I’ve had over 100 phone calls a day.  I can’t keep up.”

He says the dry summer is just one piece of the puzzle.  He calls it a perfect storm: not enough snow last winter, increased usage this spring as more people stayed home, and now a summer drought.

Lemme says, “And now, it’s really taking an effect.  It makes me nervous to a certain degree.”

He says by August, most shallow wells had gone dry, and now the deeper wells are starting to go.

He says he’s gotten so many phone calls from people who are almost out of water, or completely out of water, he’s booked solid for the next six weeks.

ABC6 caught up with him Thursday in Coventry, checking out a customer’s well.  She has no running water in her house.

It’s a problem Lemme says is becoming more and more common these days, and it’s an expensive fix.

Lemme says, “If you have to hydrofrack your well, it’s between $2,500 and $3,000, not counting any of the prep work.  To drill a new well, it usually costs between $7,000 and $15,000.”

He says it’s a good idea to curb your usage whenever possible, especially outdoors, until the drought is over.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2020

Categories: News, Regional News