Thursday, October 11, 2007

Folks are drilling backyard wells to save their grass

I flew into Charlotte, NC, today after having spent a couple of days in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, VA, and the only kind of grass I’ve seen this week in the Southeast has been brown grass.
Not fescue. Not bermudagrass. Not centipedegrass. Not St. Augustinegrass.
Brown grass. Dried up grass. Ugly grass.
And things are pretty much the same all over the Southeast — in fact, worse in some parts — friends in the landscape and lawn care businesses tell me. They also tell me that it's going to be a long, unhappy winter (for them at least) if the rain doesn't start falling soon.
So, what do I see when I check into a hotel in Charlotte — a front page article in The Charlotte Observer about how homeowners there are hiring well drilling companies like crazy just so they can water the grass and plants on their properties. The region has gotten precious little rain for more than two months now.
Many property owners figure the $5,000 or so cost to have a well drilled is money spent considering the $600 and up monthly water bills they’ve paying to keep their landscapes alive using water supplied by a utility. And they were racking up those big irrigation bills even as they follow the county’s recommendation that they just water twice a week.
How long the folks in and around Charlotte will be allowed to draw groundwater from their wells for irrigation is problematical because some political jurisdictions are concerned that they’re taking too much from the region’s aquifers.
Click on the headline for a copy of the article on — Ron Hall

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