Left, Town of Hull residents pack the municipal building Monday night, looking for answers to why their private wells are running dry. (City-Times photo)
By Jacob Mathias
Town of Hull residents packed their municipal building Monday night to air their grievances and concerns about a continuing pattern of dried- up shallow wells over the past year, causing an absence of household water.
An unknown number of Hull residents have been forced to pay on average $6k- $7k to have new deep wells drilled to about 50 feet, with one resident claiming a new well had to go down to 75 feet to achieve water.
The pattern of dried wells has residents alleging the problem is a result of well #11, a new high capacity well installed by the city of Stevens Point in 2012.
Research and studies still have to be done to determine if the fault is due to well #11. The Hull Board of Supervisors voted to continue to research the problem, seeking information from a hydrologist and legal counsel to determine what, if any, action the town may take to compensate its residents for the expense of their new wells.
“We need to determine if well #11 is actually the cause,” said Town of Hull Chairman John Holdridge. “We don’t have anyone on our staff with that sort of expertise.”
The warning signs and ultimate demise of the wells started the same for all the citizens who reported at the meeting they were each eventually left without household water.
“In January, I experienced some spitting and sputter with the shower and when the washing machine would fill up,” said Tim Lang, a Hull resident who says he had a new well drilled to a level of 52 feet at a cost of $7,000 dollars.
“Our irrigation system had been good up until about June or July. Now it won’t even push up one sprinkler head,” said Dave Schmidt, who has a new well schedule to be drilled.
Kelly Jones, a Hull resident had her 53 foot well drilled Monday.
“I’ve been without water for a week,” said Jones.
Myron Kozikowski, another Hull resident had his water level recently tested and he only has one foot to go before his water pump starts sucking air.
“I would run as much water out my house as I can,” said Melvin Bembenek, Town of Hull supervisor. “Let sprinkler system run, do clothes at the same time, wash vehicle…have the outside faucets running. I would do it now when the weather’s warm.”
“If you’re going to get a problem you’re going to see it and get it taken care of now. I wouldn’t wait and not use much water. You might as well pump the hell out of it…it would be different if this would be June.”
Joel Lemke, Stevens Point Director of Public Works, has recently reported to the City-Times that it doesn’t make sense that the well issues in Hull were caused by well #11 but would continue to be investigated to determine cause.
City of Stevens Point officials were unavailable for comment and did not attend the Town of Hull meeting.