Unbelievable Well Stories
Through the various public Well Aware Program meetings and Friendly Visits, we have heard strange tales of what people found in their wells from those working as Health Officers and with community programs. Here are some of the most interesting:
- Years ago people would often add fish to their dug wells. It's no longer recommended, but it was believed that the fish would eat harmful algae in the well. A well owner on the east coast of Newfoundland was wondering why his trout died. The trout was put in the well to keep it clean from insects that may contaminate the well. Every couple of days the well owner would visit the well and drop off a worm for his pet trout. Whenever the trout died, perhaps from old age, the well owner had to disinfect the well. Then a new pet trout was found. It must be noted that while the trout idea seems reasonable, fish also have their own bacteria and create their own waste.
- Dug wells aren't the only ones with fish. In a community on the west coast of Newfoundland, a man inquired what to do with the fish in his drilled well. It hardly seemed possible that fish would be able to get in a drilled well – the casing extends so deep and they don't end in a reservoir of water. Despite the unlikelihood of it happening when the well was investigated there were fish swimming at the bottom. It was discovered that when the well was constructed, it drilled into an underground cavern that was connected to a nearby pond. Apparently, fish were swimming back and forth between the pond and the cavern and entering the well.
- If you own a well in the woods, then you are familiar with the wildlife that may be living around your well. This story involves a well with a wooden cover and a moose calf. During the spring, a family noticed a foul smell coming from their water. The smell just kept getting stronger. So the well owner went into the woods to look at the well. The lid was missing, presumably moved with melting snow and heavy rains. In the well was a dead moose. You never know what may be in your well.
If you have an unusual well story, let us know and if we use it on our website, we'll send you a Well Aware water bottle. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A well was drilled in the central region of the province. First when the water was turned on the quality was fine. Eventually, an iron smell came from the water. Slowly the water pressure from the well decreased. When the well was investigated, it was full of a reddish jelly-like substance. There are high levels of iron in the area, and the levels here resulted in iron bacteria, a jelly-like substance that can cause damage to pumps and filters. The cost of filters and constantly clearing out and disinfecting the well was so high that the well had to be abandoned. Oddly enough, the neighbour's well is fine with no sign of iron bacteria.