Winter sledding in 2009 at their grandparents house in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho turned frightful for 5 year old Mason and his 7 year old sister Maya when their last run of the day found them crashing and tumbling off the sled right into a 2 foot by 2 foot concrete opening for a well on the property. The unknown well was located at the very bottom of the hill in a patch of weeds, was not covered and was nearly filled with icy water. Maya was able to get out, but brother Mason could not. He went under several times as Maya worked to extricate him. Exasperated, she wedged the sled into the hard packed snow and dropped the rope into the well telling Mason to hold on as she went for help. Running up the hill screaming "Mason is drowning!", she soon caught the attention of granddad Mike. The race back down the hill was won that day and Mason was pulled out unhurt, though a little rattled. There is no doubt about it - Maya saved the life of her brother by her quick thinking and hard-charging run up the hill.
Once again we see the potential danger of abandoned, improperly maintained wells. I cannot overstate how important it is to bring these dangers to the attention of the proper authorities - starting with the landowner and then upward if not taken care of immediately.
The plugging of abandoned wells might be a great program for groundwater districts or other civic groups interested. GMD 4 has already inventoried our district area and caused the plugging of just over 2,000 abandoned wells that were located. Not only are these wells a danger to life and limb, but they can also be conduits for surface contamination of the groundwater. Something to consider, anyway. For the rest of our abandoned well stories, click on the "wells and accidents" tag below.