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Private wells drying up in Butte County, homeowner shares concerns

Action News Now spoke with one man who lives in Cohasset who says his well has dried up due to the drought.

Posted: Jun 11, 2021 5:34 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2021 10:45 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Some private wells are drying up at Butte County homes.

Action News Now spoke with one man who lives in Cohasset, named Paul, he did not want to share his last name. He said a few weeks ago he went to turn on the water faucet and nothing came out.

"I first thought something was wrong with the pump or there was a leak somewhere but then it was apparent there was no water. We went to the well itself, and there was no water," he said.

At this time, he does have running water, because he lowered the pump in his well. But any day now he says it could dry up again and the water could stop flowing.

"The pump is sitting lower in the well itself. Apparently, there’s a bit of water at the bottom, the last three feet of the well. There’s enough for us to do what we’re doing, minimal water usage, but when that drops even further we will have no water," said Paul.

RELATED: Cal Water Service addresses possible drought impacts in Butte County

Paul Gosselin, with the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation, said they are in charge of monitoring the groundwater basin but they also help people like Paul.

Gosselin said they are ramping out the outreach to private well-owners so that they can report problems with their wells.

He said that’s important because it allows them and the state to recognize how widespread the disaster is.

It also allows them to identify resources for people who need financial assistance to get their water supply back on track.

Paul said his neighbors have also been dealing with the same problem and he wants to encourage anyone who is dealing with dry wells to let the county know so that they have a better idea of the scope of the issue.

He said he has a few options. One solution is to have water trucks fill a storage tank, but he said tanks are hard to find right now.

Another solution is to drill the well deeper, however, he said that's expensive and some tools needed for that are limited right now.

Officials with the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation said they have a drought task force and are gathering data to present to the board of supervisors on June 22nd.

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