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.


It messed up my neighbor’s well…..

Guilt comes with every sip.


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