Drought and Private Wells Information

Drinking water (cases of bottled water) is available at the Voluntown Firehouse btw 9am-4pm, Monday-Friday. Please call ahead if able to make sure there is someone there, 860-376-0475.  This is for residents who have dry wells, low wells,  or limited water pressure. Please let your neighbors know who might not have social media.


Private Well FAQs From CT DPH

Groundwater levels can drop due to a lack of precipitation. This may happen at any time of
year, and can be made more severe during times of greater water consumption use. Often,
shallow well sources are more likely to experience quantity issues or to go dry during times of
low precipitation or drought, but any well regardless may become impacted. Some private wells
may experience quantity issues, while other neighboring wells do not. The geographical,
geological and physical conditions of the well’s borehole may contribute to these differences.

Please find some frequently asked questions and their answers below:

Is it okay to hire a water a contractor to fill my well with water if my well goes dry?
Answer: No, alternative options should be explored as there are several concerns with this
approach. Often, some or most of the water quantity you are purchasing is lost into the well’s
geology. So, you may not be getting your full money’s worth. Additionally, the water quality
being introduced during any part of this process is a concern from the water’s source, its
transportation and delivery, and, any agitation created during the process.
You may alternately want to consider setting up a temporary storage tank outside or within
your home that can be filled with water that is hauled in by a licensed bulk water hauler. For
wells with low water quantity and recovery, you may also consider installing a permanent larger
capacity storage tank and associated pump inside your home. This will allow water to slowly fill
the storage tank at its own pace during times of low or no water use to provide your home with
water on demand during its peak water demand times.

• If I need to have bulk water hauled in, where should I start?
Answer: In Connecticut, water transported in bulk by any means to a premises supplied by a
private well or well for semipublic use for drinking or domestic purposes must be provided by a
bulk water hauler that is licensed pursuant to section Connecticut General Statute 20-278h.
A list of licensed Bulk Water Haulers can be found at: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/DrinkingWater/DWS/Bulk-WaterHauling#:~:text=As%20of%20October%201%2C%202014,consumer%20of%20a%20water%20company

What steps can I take to conserve water?
Answer: During times of drought, it is recommended that everyone implement water
conservation measures wherever possible. Some suggestions include; limit outdoor water use
such as watering lawns and washing vehicles, fix any leaks that exist in your homes plumbing
system, reduce the amount of time spent showering, consider installing low-flow fixtures and
energy-efficient water using appliances and toilets, and, only run full loads of laundry and
dishwashing. For more details please refer to the Connecticut Department of Public Health
Guidance for Private Well Users During Times of Drought or Low Precipitation.

What measures can I take if my well is experiencing low water quantity or is no longer producing water?
Answer: If you are experiencing low or no water quantity, you may consider increasing the
amount of water storage in your home by installing larger or additional water storage tanks,
determine if your well pump can be lowered deeper into your well which may increase your
available water storage, consider deepening your well to provide for additional water storage,
consider hydrofracturing your well which may increase your well’s yield, and ultimately
consider replacing your well if necessary. If you are considering any of these options, be sure to
utilize properly licensed professionals and to obtain any necessary permits prior to this work.
For related details, please refer to the Connecticut Department of Public Health Guidance for
Private Well Users During Times of Drought or Low Precipitation.

Where can I get up to date information on the drought status in Connecticut?
Answer: The Connecticut Drought Information Center website at:
https://portal.ct.gov/Water/Drought/Drought-Home


10/19/2020

Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Approved for Federal Disaster Designation Due To Drought Conditions

Farmers Eligible to Apply for Emergency Loans Due to Production Losses

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that all eight counties in Connecticut have received disaster declarations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a result of the ongoing drought that has been negatively impacting the region’s farm industry.

The designation means that farmers in the state are eligible to be considered for certain disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), such as emergency loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator. Farmers interested in applying for the assistance should contact their local FSA office.

“Connecticut has been experiencing drought conditions for several months now, and our local farmers are feeling the negative impact from production losses,” Governor Lamont said. “I appreciate the USDA for approving this designation, and I encourage any farmers to contact their local FSA office and apply for assistance.”

“The USDA’s disaster declaration will help Connecticut farmers mitigate the losses and additional expenses incurred due to the drought,” Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt said. “The impacts have been widespread throughout the state as producers worked to keep fields irrigated, hauled in water when wells went dry, and experienced significant losses of food production and livestock crops.”

Last week, the Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup – a state entity consisting of representatives from several state agencies – increased the drought status for four counties in Connecticut – Hartford, New London, Tolland, and Windham – to Stage 3. Middlesex and Litchfield counties remain at Stage 2, and Fairfield and New Haven Counties remain at Stage 1. The highest drought stage as specified by the Connecticut Drought Preparedness and Response Plan is Stage 5.

Twitter: @GovNedLamont
Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont

Drought Level Moved to Up to Level 3 for New London County

(Hartford) – The Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup has increased the drought status for four counties to Stage 3 and one county has entered Stage 2. Even as September ended with heavy rain in most of the state, drought has continued to intensify over much of Connecticut. In particular, significant portions of Hartford, New London, Tolland, and Windham counties are now experiencing conditions consistent with a Stage 3 or “Moderate” drought. The highest drought stage, as specified by the Connecticut Drought Preparedness and Response Plan, is Stage 5.

Stage 3 is comparable to the highest intensity of drought Connecticut experienced during 2016-2017. Conditions can vary locally, inside and outside the Stage 3 area and preparations are beginning for the possibility of targeted emergency response should conditions continue to worsen. The Interagency Drought Workgroup has also determined that conditions in Middlesex County are consistent with Stage 2 drought, which is an emerging drought event potentially impacting water supplies, agriculture, or natural ecosystems. Litchfield County remains at Stage 2 and Fairfield and New Haven Counties remain at Stage 1.

Reports of low water levels in private wells, streams, agricultural water supplies, and fire suppression ponds have been increasing especially in eastern Connecticut. Due to the unusually dry soils, the rain that does fall does not soak into the ground and the threat of fire returns soon after the rain ends. Residents are reminded to monitor daily forest fire danger reports and plan outdoor burning accordingly, especially in areas dependent on fire ponds that might not be usable.

To avoid further stressing water supplies and to avoid other threats due to the current drought, residents and businesses are being asked to voluntarily take the following measures:

For counties at Stage 3:

•           End irrigation of established lawns and limit other outdoor water uses;

•           Residents and businesses dependent upon private wells should limit water use to only essential needs to reduce the chance of well depletion (see guidance for private well users, links are below);

•           Prepare for using alternative water sources in the event wells, farm ponds, fire suppression supplies, or other critical water sources become depleted; and

•           Avoid burning in or near woodlands or brushlands, and obey any municipal or state orders for outdoor burning bans

For counties at Stage 2 or above:

•           Reduce outdoor irrigation and other non-essential outdoor uses of water;

•           Postpone the planting of any new lawns or vegetation (if new plantings cannot be postponed, consider drought-tolerant species); and

•           Minimize overall water use by fixing leaky plumbing and fixtures

For all counties:

•           Follow best practices for water conservation and wise water use; and

•           Be alert to the potential for worsening conditions and follow conservation requests or mandates issued by public water systems, municipalities, or state agencies

A Stage 2 drought was previously announced for Litchfield, Hartford, Tolland, and Windham counties on August 26 and was announced for New London County on September 21. Stage 3 initiates additional state review of options for preparing for potentially more serious conditions in the future.

The Interagency Drought Workgroup consists of representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Office of Policy and Management, and Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, with assistance from the National Weather Service and United States Geological Survey. More information on the Interagency Drought Workgroup and the State Drought Plan are available at www.ct.gov/waterstatus.

###

For Immediate Release: October 5, 2020
Contact:Christopher McClure, Office of Policy and Management
(860) 418-6296 (Office)
(925) 457-7309 (Mobile)


The Town of Voluntown is currently experiencing Extreme Drought conditions according to federal monitoring. 

For information on private wells and drought conditions, visit the links below

More information will be posted as it becomes available, so check back!

Have Questions?

Please don’t hesitate to contact:

Al Gosselin, UNCAS Health, 860-639-5131,   agosselin@uncashd.org

Tiziana Shea, CT DPH Private Well Program, 860-509-8401,  tiziana.shea@ct.gov

Water Sources

There is a water pump behind Town Hall (next to the sand bin) that can be used for NON DRINKING water. This water is not safe to drink, but it can be used for toilet flushing, plant watering, etc.
 
Cases of bottled water are available at the Voluntown firehouse, 9-4pm, Monday-Friday. Please call ahead to make sure someone is there.

Posted 9/28/20, updated 10/7/20, 10/8/20, 10/13/20, 10/14/20