BENTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has discovered a local farmer is, indeed, responsible for draining the wells of frustrated Benton County residents.
WLFI first reported this weekend on dozens of wells that had dried up in the town of Templeton, Ind. Many of those residents we spoke with blamed a local farmer irrigating his fields less than a mile from the wells.
The residents have gone days without water to drink, bathe with, use the bathroom with, and more. Many told WLFI, they didn't know how precious their water was to their daily lives until they couldn't use it anymore.
"We just never dreamed that we would ever have water problems," resident Dorothy Hoaks said. "It's something that we've taken for granted."
When WLFI spoke with the farmer, Bill Brost, who has property on County Road 600 East, he told us he didn't believe he was the source of the problem.
However, DNR spokesman Mark Basch tells WLFI that, through the DNR's investigation in the area, they've found Brost's irrigation system is responsible for the wells running dry.
A plumbing company from Fowler, Ind., has been working all week on drilling new wells for the residents so their lives can return to normal.
In the meantime, residents' only source of water (besides purchasing bottled water) is a tanker set up in the middle of town where they fill up five-gallon buckets to tote back home.
"I can rough it, I can tough it," resident Mike Burns said. "But my wife and my daughter, you know? They shouldn't have to deal with that."
The plumbing company says it has been working for the past two days to dig the new wells, costing roughly $3,000 for each well to be fixed.
The county will foot the bill for the wells, but under the Indiana Water Rights Law , the owner of the system would then eventually have to reimburse the county for fixing the wells.
WLFI attempted to reach out to Brost Wednesday. Our calls have not been returned.
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