Wells running dry, limiting access to drinking water in Sarasota County

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)- The lack of rain has left some families who depend on wells with hardly any water to drink.

A woman in a neighborhood experiencing shortages reached out to 8 On Your Side to help find a solution.

The well in Dawn Seymour’s backyard has been dry since Thursday night.

“Almost 15 years, I’ve never experienced this,” Seymour said.

It happened without warning for many people in the Twin Lakes subdivision. It isn’t a rural area, but many people depend on wells as their main source of water and without it, they’re scrambling.

“You can’t wash clothes. If you take a shower, it’s like a 30 second shower. You can’t flush toilets,” Seymour said.

She’s using bottled water for most of her needs.

It’s hard for Seymour having a teenage son and newborn baby. Family and neighbors have been helping out.

“It’s frustrating,” said neighbor Todd Stolzfus.

Stolzfus lives next door and ran a water hose from his well to help Seymour, but he’s low on water too.

“We have five kids and so all the kids, we tell them they’ve got a minute for that water to be on,” Stolzfus said.

8 On Your Side looked into their options.

People in some areas are able to get connected to the county water supply if they’re close enough to water lines.

“In most cases, next day service to get people connected so they don’t have to deal with the issue any longer than necessary,” Public Utility Manager David Cash said.

Installation of the service could cost the homeowner around $5,000, but Cash said there’s a loan service available.

It isn’t an option for Seymour. The county said there isn’t a quick fix for her area.

Connecting the community to county lines would require a large-scale project, Cash said.

Cash said the county has gotten roughly 60 calls since April concerning well shortages.

He said officials are monitoring the situation.

Seymour’s well is about 180 feet deep and the county said she’ll need to bring in a company to either deepen the well or adjust the pumping system.

Cash said to call the county at 941-861-5000 to seek help on issues and to learn about the various options.

Some residents in Sarasota County use well water to water their lawns and Cash said there is a water restriction in place.

Cash said it limits water use for lawns to one day a week on either Tuesday or Thursday depending on the resident’s address.

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