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Drought Taking Toll On Privately Owned Wells

Maria Keena
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- Financial assistance is now available for Missouri agriculture water wells that are drying up due to the drought, but that doesn’t help Illinois residents that depend solely on getting their water supply from private wells.

Jason Schneider of unincorporated Belleville is one of those private citizens.

“You’ll know because the pressure will start dwindling down, and if you were in the shower, your pressure just falls off and then it goes to a drip. Your water pump is sucking air and not water,” he says.

Schneider’s well is 52-feet deep. As a back-up plan, he has a five-hundred-gallon tank that he can put on his trailer and haul water, something he has not had to do yet.

“It’s so heavy,” he says. “You won’t be able to move it once you get it full. It’s empty right now, I can slide it up on my trailer, go to town and fill it, and bring it back and dump it in the well. Five-hundred gallons is quite a bit of water.”

Schneider is five miles away from the town’s nearest water supply tank, which is in Mascoutah.

“It’s the closest place,” he says. “It’s right next to the firehouse in Mascoutah. They have a water supply tank there. It’s self-service, basically two dollars of quarters in and fills up just under 500 gallons.”

Schneider explains he would then be forced to haul water several times a week to make sure he does not run out again.

Jason knows when the well runs dry.

“The water pressure drops off, I go and hook up the trailer, and get water,” he says.

Schneider says his neighbors are reliant on well water too.

“Just from traveling around, going to work, or doing whatever, I see people hauling water,” he says. “Not necessarily my neighbors but they might also be farmers.”

Last week, in Missouri, Governor Nixon made an additional 5 million dollars available to help drought affected farmers.

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