Augusta County well goes dry, farmers search for solutions

By  | 

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- In Augusta County, a well many farmers depend on is now empty.

"55 years and I've never seen this spring dry. It's quite different," said Eric Sheets.

Eric Sheets, like other farmers in Augusta County, relies on water from a spring, off Cider Mill Road in Mt. Sidney.

"Every evening around 4:30, you know, quittin' time, there's always people here everyday getting water," said Sheets.

Sheets saw no water flowing while passing by and knew something was wrong.

"All these valves here are set to where you can't shut them off, so water would be flowing here constantly to keep the pipes from freezing," Sheets said.

He believes it could be from the lack of rain in the area.

"We haven't had a substantial rain in three months. About November is the last good one we got," Sheets said. "So hopefully if this drought breaks, this thing will recover."

Augusta County Supervisor Marshall Pattie said he's working with the county to try and come up with a solution.

"I've reached out to the Augusta County Service Authority and we're trying to come up with a solution where farmers can get water from the Augusta County Government Center," Pattie said. "But that hasn't been finalized and there's a lot of details we need to look at."

Pattie said if that doesn't work, they will continue to look for a solution, if not, Sheets said it can get worse.

"All these people now will have to start paying someone to truck water to them. Either that or consider drilling wells," said Sheets.

Below-average rainfall throughout the Valley also recently led to at least six privately owned wells going dry in Shenandoah County too.