Horrible tales of owning a well

Rick’s column on water triggered a memory from childhood.  Living in rural areas, such as I do now, often means having a private well as a source of water.

Having a private well often means you have all the water you could ever want, from drinking to filling a swimming pool, at no charge.  However, there can be a downside.  My current water smells of sulfur.  Since I am used to it, I drink it.  But visitors might refuse it.  Therefore, I will stock up on bottled water.

As a child, we had a couple of wells.  The well near the house provided all of  our house water.  This well, unlike wells you have seen, was covered by a rock.  And that  rock cover had narrow openings.

So, what I am about to say might be quite predictable.  I would be drinking a glass of water from the sink, and the water would be giving off a foul, rotten odor.  

I would tell Dad  about this, and he would instruct me to get the pool skimmer and meet him at the well.  We would remove the rock cover and spot a bloated, rotting rodent floating in the shallow well.

The first thing I would do is fight off nausea.  Then, I would skim the  rodent from the well and toss it.  We then would pour a gallon of clorox into the well, which would leave a strong taste in the water for a day or two.

Now, I also mentioned that the well was very shallow.  When that is the case, a mineral buildup forms on the water fixtures in the house.  We certainly suffered  from that.

Now, let’s move back to the recent past.  There was a time, at this house, when I had almost no water.  Could not even fill the tub for a load of laundry.  Investigated fracking, which in a different form, has been severely criticized.

Spent 2 thousand bucks, no guarantees, and got  my well fracked.  Went from zero water to tons of water.

Great happiness.

Except.

It messed up my neighbor’s well…..

Guilt comes with every sip.

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