Some Tri-State area residents are calling on area well drillers to deepen and replace private wells that are going dry because of drought-like conditions during the past six months.
Washington County Department of Environmental Health staff have witnessed an increase in the number of emergency well permits - the most common dry well permits - from the last three months of 1997 to the same period in 1998, said Rod A. MacRae, director of environmental health for the county.
MacRae said his staff received nine requests for such permits at the end of this year, as compared to three requests in 1997. While he said the reasons for the requests were not documented, "the drought is quite possibly the inference one would draw."
The Maryland Department of the Environment issued a statewide drought warning this week.
"We're getting calls left and right," said Jeanine Vervaet, office manager at S.E.C. Well Drilling and Pumping Co. in Greencastle, Pa. "The emergency calls take priority, and we're backlogged right now," she added.