Wells Running Dry in Aroostook County

While well drillers are very busy, there are some steps you can take to save some water.
Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 2:41 PM EDT
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AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine (WAGM) - Several people around the County have had their wells run dry because of the severe drought and others are worried about it happening to them There are some things you can do to preserve water.

“Your laundry you can certainly take that to town, that would take the pressure off your water system. You could do your laundry downtown a lot of people are doing that too.”

James Watson, President of Watson Well Drilling

Watson says that you need to be careful if you are trying to pump water into your well.

“You don’t want to introduce bacteria into your well and so forth so you can be a little bit careful. Rather than going to a swamp or something to pump water, see that you know where it’s coming from.”

James Watson, President of Watson Well Drilling

The Maine Emergency Management Agency has some helpful tips as well.

They say to avoid filling a well by a water hauler or fire department because of possible contamination, and to space out water usage to avoid a shortage.

For those needing financial help with a dry well There is a single Family Housing Loan and Grant program from USDA Rural Development.

“It’s a health and safety issue. These grants will help those folks. These aren’t grants to go and pay for cosmetic upgrades. These are for health and safety hazards that have been identified so lack of water, or water that is not high enough quality that you should be consuming it.”

Timothy Hobbs, State Director for Rural Development

There are specific guidelines to be able to meet the criteria for the Single Family Housing Loan and Grant Program. For the grant portion, you need to be 65 or older and not be able to pay a repair loan. For the loan, you must have a family income less than 50% of the area median income.

You also must be the homeowner and occupy the house.

Grants must be used to remove health and safety hazards, while loans may be used to repair, improve or modernize homes or remove health and safety hazards.

The maximum loan is $20,000 and the maximum grant is $7,500.

To apply for a loan or grant, you can contact your local rural development office.

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