Breaking News
More () »

A Travis County family's well is drying out in exceptional drought conditions

"I'm going to the gym to take a shower," said Kathy Graf. "It's very inconvenient."

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — A Travis County family is nervously hoping for some rain after their well got lower than they've seen since moving to the area in the '80s. 

In northwestern Travis County near Leander, the cacti thrive in weird places, but the grass is not thriving at all.

"It's like walking on hay," said homeowner Kathy Graf. "We had beautiful green grass. We just had our yard landscaped about two or three years ago."

Now she's hoping their $10,000 isn't down the dried-out drain.

Graf and her husband, Tom, live in an area that's seeing an exceptional drought. That's the worst in our area. 

"No rain whatsoever," said Kathy Graf.

If they got any rain, our data shows it's been less than half an inch since the end of June.

"It's been a nightmare," said Kathy Graf. 

Not just because of the crunchy grass but because their well, their only water source, is drying out.

"One day, we went to turn on the water and nothing came out," said Kathy Graf.

That was almost two weeks ago and, since then, they've had to make some sacrifices by only using water to flush the toilet and to wash the dishes. 

"I'm going to the gym to take a shower," said Kathy Graf. "It's very inconvenient."

The pair said their 3,000-gallon tank only had 400 gallons, not even enough to water their lawn.

But when Tom Graf checked Tuesday, he was pleasantly surprised. 

"It's probably a thousand gallons in there now," said Tom Graf. "I feel safe where it's at right now because I think we could do a lot. We could do a lot of dishes and flush a lot of toilets, wash our faces and whatever." 

It's the highest it's been in a few weeks, but he said the tank would be full in a typical summer.

Without rain or any connection to a city water source, they said they are considering hiring a company to fill it back up, which is something they haven't done since moving here.

It could be costly, considering they have solar panels and don't pay for electricity to pump their well, but their other option is more expensive.

"My biggest fear is that we have to put out $20,000 at least to go down further, you know, and hit another water table," said Kathy Graf. 

Kathy Graf said she would rather not dig deeper because of fears of the water not being as clean and clear. Right now, their well is about 700 feet deep. 

So their fingers are crossed, hoping for some rain or some kind of help during this drought.

"Maybe there'll be solutions not for just us, you know, but for other people that are in the same situation," said Kathy Graf. "With the economy and the prices of things going up, there are people that, I'm sure, can't afford to go on out and buy water because they don't have access to their wells. Maybe the State will regulate the drilling of wells a little bit more."


Man sent to hospital after SWAT standoff, bomb threat in Round Rock

Pflugerville police chase stolen car down I-35

Man killed in Downtown Austin shooting; no suspect in custody

Before You Leave, Check This Out