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Municipal Wells In Klamath Basin Town Run Dry

Amelia Templeton | June 30, 2010 | Portland, OR, OPB/Oregon Public Broadcast

Two municipal wells in the Klamath basin town of Merrill have run dry. Residents in Merrill get only air when they turn on their faucets. Amelia Templeton reports.

The town lost water pressure Tuesday night. There's still a little water in the well shafts in Merrill. But the level has dropped so far the pumps can't reach it. It could take till Saturday to refit the wells and lower the pumps. In the meantime, portable toilets have been set up around town and the national guard is trucking in drinking water. Monte Keady is with the Klamath County Fire District. He's helping manage the crisis. He says residents can pick up water at city hall. Monte Keady: "They come and get it in whatever container they can. And if they want to pack a bunch of water back and bathe with it they can. There's no restrictions for what that water is used for. But it is safe water to drink." The town isn't sure what caused its water table to drop. Governor Kulongoski declared a drought in the Klamath region this spring. Many farmers in the area are relying on emergency wells for their crops. State officials have said that could cause other wells to run dry.

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              Page Updated: Saturday July 03, 2010 01:41 AM  Pacific

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