It's costing residents of one local town thousand's to keep the water running in their homes and they blame the larger city nearby. Many people in the Town of Hull, just north of Stevens Point, are digging deep in their pockets as they have to dig new wells because they went dry.
Hull residents Mary Lou Bonikowske and her husband Dennis, had only two and a half feet of water left in their well before they decided to dig a new one, but because of the expense, they tried to last as long as they could before making that decision.
"You learn to conserve," said Mary Lou Bonikowske. "Even now it bothers me to turn the water on to let it get hot. I'm concerned that it will happen again."
The Bonikowskes along with many other Hull residents went to great lengths to get the most out of every drop of water.
"Whenever I was taking water from the sink waiting for the water to get hot, I would fill buckets so I could dump it in the washing machine so I wouldn't have to use extra water," she said.
Town of Hull Chairperson, John Holdridge is taking action and said he wants justice for damages done.
"These people are harmed because you're talking $6-7,000 to replace a well and pump. This is not small change," he said.
He and many people in Hull blame Well 11, which went online in March of 2012. It's a high-capacity well that serves Stevens Point and it's located just across Highway 66. Holdridge said before June of 2012, only two wells were replaced, but after that time, 36 have been re-dug and 35 have not been replaced, but are having problems. Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson told NewsChannel 7 back in October that Well 11 is not responsible for the this issue.
"The science behind some 20-30 different monitoring wells that we had, all says that the influence that Well 11 has had on the aquifer, is not existent," said Halverson.
Bonikowske and others are not convinced. She asked the man hired to dig her well if as many new wells had to be put in place anywhere else. He said, no. This is the only heavy concentration in the county.
"If this is just a coincidence, this should have happened throughout the county, not just in our little subdivision," Bonikowske said.
The town has hired an attorney and a hydrologist. They also requested all records on Well 11 and are getting more detailed accounts from residents. After contacting Mayor Halverson on Friday, his secretary said he has no further update on the issue.
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