WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Money for Water Well Improvements

Feb 25, 2014

More money is now available to improve private wells in several west-central Illinois counties. The Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC) has received a second $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA officials present $50,000 grant to WIRC. From left to right: WIRC Executive Director Suzan Nash, USDA Illinois State Director Colleen Callahan, WIRC Planning Coordinator Shannon Duncan and USDA Area Director Dwight Reynolds.
Credit Patti Sullivan-Howd / WIRC

The first grant also valued at $50,000 was awarded in 2012.  It was used to dig and improve wells for five families in McDonough County.

A modern drilled well
Credit Photo courtesy of http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca

WIRC Planning Coordinator Shannon Duncan says this new grant coupled with an additional $5,000 from her organization should be enough to outfit another five wells.

“Well drilling and the geology as a science is so unknown. So your neighbor may have water but yet that water formation may not exist at all on your property, says Duncan. "So when it comes to wells there’s so much unknown. You may think we need to dig 175 feet but instead we have to go 350 feet."

To be eligible, households must earn less than $45,000 annually, have a well not meeting safe drinking water standards or in need of other improvements and be located in Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, Warren and McDonough counties.

Participating households will receive up to $11,000 for well repairs and improvements. A homeowner will  have 20-years to repay the loan with proceeds being be re-invested into the program.

Workers dig water well paid for by first round of grant funding awarded in 2012.
Credit McDonough County Health Department

Well permits are issued by the McDonough County Health Department.