The Jan. 13 article on wells and water (“Water Wait”) is very misleading. There are many variables affecting a well’s ability to produce clean water, including location, proper construction and maintenance. Well depth does not matter if you are digging where there is no water to begin with, nor can it stop silt from ruining a well.
Before closing the Little Spokane basin to new wells, the state needs to pursue other scientific methods to find alternate sources of water. Most households with wells return the majority of the water to the ground through drain fields.
Rachael Osborn, an environmental group lawyer, states that since the Little Spokane basin is closed for new water rights because of low river flow in the summer, there shouldn’t be rights for new wells either. Osborn’s stand is negated, however, by Keith Soffel, eastern region water resources manager for the Department of Ecology, who states there’s no evidence that residential wells are reducing flows in the Little Spokane, nor has the agency received any complaints about new wells reducing flows to neighboring homes. Rural lands appear to be tapping into smaller pockets of water that are not necessarily connected to stream flows, Stoffel said.