To the Editor: Well Water Worries


Letters reflect the opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of the Crozet Gazette.

Well Water Worries

In the May and August issues, the Crozet Weather Almanac writers made statements assuring readers that the wet spring would carry them through the growing season, “no matter how hot or dry the summer gets.” They suggested that reservoir and groundwater levels were adequate. This may be true for reservoir levels, but, as for groundwater levels, how would they know this?

Well, they don’t. This is because rainfall (and thus groundwater recharge) can be an extremely localized event (it’s hard to believe they don’t consider this). For example, it is not uncommon for Crozet to have a substantial precipitation event, but, on the other side of Buck’s Elbow (White Hall), the same storm is but a whimper. In fact, the Sugar Hollow area is perennially drier than is Crozet.

Since the Crozet Gazette is read far and wide, you can’t be giving people everywhere (especially when many are on wells) a false sense of security. When that hot, dry summer gets going, people could think that the liberal use of sprinklers would be safe and Crozet Weather Almanac-sanctioned, when in fact, they may be making matters worse for their wells.

Robert Butler


  1. We stand by our statement that heavy spring rains made sufficient groundwater and reservoir levels to last through the dry season. If your well ran dry this summer, then simply put, you need a new well. The widespread spring rains assured that no matter how dry the summer got, we would not drop below the 20th percentile in long term drought for 2011.

    In other words, by springtime, the worst possible scenario was a “once in five year” drought. There was simply no chance of a “one in a hundred” or even “once in 50 years” drought like we suffered in 2002.

    July and August were unusually hot and dry but our drought index bottomed on September 4th far above problem levels.

    Of course summer rains are highly variable from place to place but the spring rains were not. They we widespread giving everyone the necessary recharge to last the dry summer months.

    The point of our original article was that officials were warning of possible drought this year. We thought that was crying wolf and I think time has proven us correct.

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