Drought causes wells to dry up in Elkhart County

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – Three homes along County Road 7 in Nappanee reported their wells going dry over the weekend. Now the Elkhart Emergency Manager’s Office is looking into whether or not there could be more people without water out in the county.

"We still need to know if there are more homes out there that have lost water whether it’s been fixed or not, I need to know the area in the counties that have lost water," said Emergency Manager Director Jennifer Tobey.

She said the county is looking at many options, if the dry well problem is deeper than they thought.

Tobey said they could get local fire departments to set up water stations and the local Red Cross can help in distributing bottled water.

But first, they have to figure out how wide spread the problem actually is.

Out of the three homes who reported, one home was given a supply of water. At the second home no one was there when they check, and the third actually contracted a well drilling company to drill a new one.

So we decided to contact a drilling company, too, to find out just how often this is happening.

Martin’s Well Drilling said they’ve been so busy they’re working night and day to keep up.

The company said they’ve noticed groundwater levels shrinking by 25 to 30 feet. They said this is a combination of lack of snow and spring and summer rain.

They’re so busy digging new and deeper wells Martin’s is booked out about two weeks in advance for work.

The issue now, is that the rain doesn’t appear to be headed to Michiana any time soon.

"We have to plan for the worst case scenario so we’re working with our partners to collect bottle water (and to) figure out what our plan might be for the future," said Tobey.

During normal business hours Monday through Friday you can report a well issue to the Elkhart County Emergency Manager’s Office at 574-891-2238.

Otherwise you can contact any of the local dispatch centers including the city of Nappanee, city of Elkhart and Elkhart County. Then explain to them what your emergency is and ask them to report it to the Emergency Manager’s Office.




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