Friday, July 26, 2013

Wells Are Dangers to Animals, Too

Most of my "wells and accidents" stories involve old, abandoned wells.  But these are not the only wells that are problems.  Take the case of a new well being constructed in Houston in October of 2011.  It was a concrete lined well and was still under construction when a horse happened by and fell into it.  The horse was found that evening at the bottom of the well - chest-high in water - and was a bit stressed.

In this case the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was called.  The arriving investigator ended up lowering himself into the well and slipped a harness around the horse.  A forklift was then used to hoist it out.  Suffering minor cuts and bruises, the horse survived the affair - as did everyone else.

And who owned the horse?  The SPCA is not saying, but did note that it had been in a pasture on neighboring land the day before.  No one seemed to know how the horse managed to slip out onto the neighboring land where the well was being constructed.

So, we find that people are not the only ones in danger from old and/or improperly maintained wells.  And when we say animals, we don't always mean the family dog.  Bottom line, any well can be dangerous if not maintained in a safe and protected manner.  And when we say protected, we don't mean covered by a sheet of plastic, or plywood, or scrap of tin siding.  The covering needs to be air and water tight, and capable of holding at least 300 pounds of weight.  Of course, if your protecting cows and/or horses, you'll need a stouter covering!

Shoot, while your at it, why don't you just get a well driller to plug the well for you so no one ever has to worry about it again.  That's my advice.  But check with your state laws and regulations first.  Here in Kansas, you can plug your own well on your own property, but it must be done to state specifications, and the well plugging form must be submitted, too.  Again, hire a professional!


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