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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

August 5, 2002

LUESA ENCOURAGES CONSERVATION:
COUNTY WELLS MAINTAIN LEVELS DESPITE DROUGHT 

ABOUT 25% OF COUNTY RESIDENTS GET WATER FROM A WELL

Charlotte, NC – If you live in Mecklenburg County and ARE NOT connected to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, your water most likely comes from a well.  While the continuing drought and over-pumping has caused groundwater levels to fall dramatically in some parts of North Carolina – most notably in the eastern part of the state – groundwater levels in Mecklenburg County have only slightly dropped.  

To maintain consistent levels of well water, Mecklenburg County’s Land Use and Environmental Services Agency (LUESA) encourages continued conservation and water-saving practices on the part of all residents.   LUESA monitors the groundwater levels at four locations throughout the County.  Twenty-five monitoring wells allow groundwater personnel to measure the depth of the water. 

About 25% of all Mecklenburg County residents receive water from a well – either private or community.  The water comes from an underground water system called an aquifer.  Water fills spaces between rocks and soil particles and fractures in the bedrock function like a “pipeline,” transmitting water from one area to another.   

Many factors impact the supply of water in the groundwater system, including the amount of rainfall, the soil and rock type, and the amount of water being removed from the groundwater system.  In the Piedmont, wells are typically located deeper in the fractured bedrock. The drop in the groundwater has been seen in shallow monitoring wells but not in the drinking water wells located in the bedrock.  Also, large cities such as Charlotte draw their water from surface water, like Mountain Island Lake, which preserves the amount of groundwater in the aquifer. 

“The aquifer is dependent on precipitation for replenishment,” says Lisa Corbitt, Mecklenburg County’s groundwater program manager.  “If drought conditions continue for several more years we may begin to see a noticeable impact to the deeper drinking water wells.”   

Residents who see a change in their well water are encouraged to call the Mecklenburg County Land Use and Environmental Services Agency at 704-336-5500.  More information on the groundwater program is also available at www.co.mecklenburg.nc.us/coenv.



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