Sheldon, Iowa — Although we never expect a lot of precipitation in January, the lower than normal measurements only served to extend the drought in our area. Some estimates say that we would need precipitation of eight to nine inches above average over the late winter and spring months to bring soil conditions back to normal. The dry conditions also are affecting wells in Northwest Iowa. Sheldon residents and businesses normally depend on the City’s shallow wells for most of their water. These wells began to run low last Summer because they are normally re-charged by the Floyd River. To prevent draining the shallow wells too low the City began to augment the water supply with more water from their deep well. This well is normally used sparingly because the water is very hard. The hardness not only causes people to use their water softeners more, but the hard water causes excessive wear on the City’s pumping equipment. Last week Public Works Director Todd Uhl told the City Council that they are getting less and less water from the shallow wells every day, resulting in more and more water from the deep well. Uhl explained that the deep well is 600 feet deep and had been fitted with a new sleeve a few years ago to keep it in operation. There is no lack of water in the deep well aquifer, but if a problem would occur with the pump or the wall of the well, the city would be in serious trouble.Because of these concerns the city is moving toward drilling a new deep well. This will cost about $350,000 which will be financed as part of a bond issue being planned by the city. The new well will also buy time for Sheldon as the city waits for water from the Lewis and Clark system. Because the Federal Government has been slow in providing the financing they had promised it will be at least five years, and some council members think ten years before that water is available in Sheldon.