By Geoffrey Agombar
Local Journalism Initiative
Earlier this week, Chris Maynard of Topher Farms and Fitch Bay resident Stacy Johnson spoke to The Record about their wells running dry.
Both marvelled that so many of their neighbours were in the same boat, but everyone seemed to assume these were isolated cases, not a regional issue that could become more critical over the winter months.
Marilyn Bernier confirms their stories are far from unique.
As Administrative Director of Puits Berniers, a family-owned business headquartered in Sherbrooke which has been drilling artesian wells across the region since 1949, Bernier confirms that for the last two to three years, there has been an explosion in people having trouble with their wells, especially gravity-fed and surface wells.
Just a few years ago, Bernier says their company handled as few as 20 such calls in a year. Now, she estimates they are fielding more like 400-500.
Dr. Darren Bardati, Chair of the Environment and Geography Department at Bishop’s University, cannot speak to water table issues specifically, but he does have his own farm and is thankful his well seems to be tapped into a healthy vein.