Water wells drying up in Bucks Co. community

LOWER MAKEFIELD, Pa. - September 7, 2010

This comes as a Bucks County community is under voluntary water restrictions.

Due to limited rainfall and a number of reported well problems, Upper Makefield Township officials are requesting voluntary use of water.

That includes lawn watering, washing vehicles, sidewalks, patios and driveways - along with power washing exterior surfaces.

Residents are also asked not to fill swimming pools.

Township Manager Stephanie Teoli says five wells have recently failed.

"We suspect its dry weather. We don't have any specific empirical information, just lack of rain and evidence of five wells running dry," she said.

One of those wells belonged to Ruth Bannon and her husband. She say, one day their water became murky with silt. Then it was gone.

"It just disappeared. There was nothing," she said.

The Bannons now have a new well at 300 feet. It is ten times deeper than the one it replaced - the price tag was in excess of $10,000.

Meanwhile, farmer Brenda Slack says the lack of rain means some crops have failed to grow.

  Drip irrigation helps. On Tuesday, their well water was pretty clear. However, under heavy use, Slack says it shows signs of murkiness. She is hoping it won't fail.

  "Saturday was a little scary. It was almost muddy," Slack said.

While the current restrictions in Upper Makefield are voluntary, officials say that could change depending on usage and the weather.

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