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Drillers Keep Busy As Wells Run Low In Dry California Winter

SHINGLE SPRINGS (CBS13) — Thousands of homeowners are finding out their wells don't have enough water in the middle of a dry California winter.

On a Shingle Springs ranch, two wells were running very low, prompting the landowners to call out Rumsey-Land Drilling to dig a new one.

For the next several nights, the shrill sound of a drill will ring out as the drillers believe they won't hit water until up to 700 into the ground.

The two existing wells were running at 2 gallons per minute instead of the usual 10 gallons—20 percent of normal.

"We've had to deepen wells, we've had wells, I don't want to say dry up, but lower than normal production," said driller Tom Lang.

It's very similar to what's happened to Bill and Barbara Erwin of Placerville.

Usually their water tanks run a little lower than normal in September or October, but it's unheard of for water to be this low—only a foot of water in their 116-gallon tank—in January when the tanks normally get replenished.

"Right around November and December, it goes to the top, and it stays there," Barbara said.

Now, they're having water delivered for the first time for drought-related reasons.

Meanwhile, after Rumsey-Lang Drilling digs the Shingle Springs well, they will still have 10 more people with orders related to well woes.

"We're busy," Lang said. "I probably field 40 to 50 calls on my cellphone alone."

They've had more calls in less than two weeks than they see in an entire month.

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