Dry weather, large farms, drying out Tuscola wells - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Dry weather, large farms, drying out Tuscola wells

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(07/16/12) - A number of residents in Tuscola County are really hoping they get decent rainfall sooner than later because wells are drying up, but the dry weather is not the only reason some homeowners have no water.

The issue takes us to village of Gagetown in the northeastern corner of Elmwood Township.

No question its been dry for awhile, you can tell by the way a lot of lawns look.  

But what if, during this hot spell, you had no running water?

The dust is flying into the air in Tuscola County's Elmwood Township where there has been little rainfall this summer. 

"This is a very dry year," says Robert Guza.

Guza says that's not the only reason wells are drying up in this area. His well went dry last summer.

"Forty wells last year, who knows, I don't think we can get 40 wells this year, because there are not many left," Guza says.

Guza and other residents say the main reason the wells are drying up is the irrigation of farm fields in Elmwood Township. In particular, Ziehm Farms, which has about 400 acres in the area.

"He's watering, constantly, he even waters when it rains," Guza said.

Chris Ziehm of Ziehm Farms says he believes the main reason many of the wells are drying up is because of the dry stretch of weather, going back to this past winter. But he has also been helping homeowners with some of the financial cost for either repairing or drilling a new well.  

One homeowner we talked to did not want to be identified, but his well is dry, no running water.  He's been getting water from a neighbor. He will need a new well at the cost of about $7,000. Guza has been talking to local legislators to see what can be done and has even put together a map to show the number of wells that have been affected. Guza has no problem with water now, but he believes that could change again.

"Our biggest concern is he is going to ruin our water system," Guza said.

We did talk to Chris Graff, the Elmwood Township supervisor about the water problem Monday, but he said at this time, he has no comment on the matter.

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