You’ve bought the land. You’re building the house. A power line’s nearby, and you’ve got a wireless hookup. What about water?
If a city water system is nearby, you can probably rest easy – your contractor can run pipes for sewer and water hookups. Otherwise, you’ll need someone to drill and put in a well.
Wait a minute. Drillers charge by the foot – and they don’t guarantee that they’ll find water when they drill. Wheep the well must be drilled; some can even estimate the approx. ‘gallons per minute’ of the water level when it’s reached.
It would be easy to dismiss dowsers as hokey folklore – except it works! There’s even a national group: The American Society of Dowsers. According to them, dowsing looks for “flowing underground water,” primarily. (Other sources credit dowsing with finding lost people and treasure.) It can be accomplished with:
- a pendulum (they say this is best for beginners)
- an ‘L-rod’ (a metal welding rod, or coat hanger bent into an L shape)
- a ‘Y-rod’ (forked stick)
They also argue that we all have the dowsing instinct, to some degree — it just takes time and practice to develop it.
Fortunately, I’ve got a personal source of info on this subject: my uncle has been dowsing for at least five decades, and has successfully pinpointed several wells — including one for my parents. He says the talent is rare. (He even wonders if it has something to do with A negative blood, since the dowsers he’s met have that trait.) In fact, of 150-plus relatives, only one other cousin, plus my mom, has shown a predilection toward dowsing. (No, they don’t have A negative blood — but Mom does have an unusual blood mix. Who knows about the cousin.)
The method is simple. Uncle does it this way:
Take hold with both hands onto the ends of a wooden forked stick, fists facing up. (Doesn’t matter what kind of wood.)
- Hold the stick gently but firmly. Concentrate.
- If you are near a good underground water source, the stick will begin to dip down, slowly. The better the source, the stronger the pull.
- Move from one side to the other — when the stick stops pulling, you’ve defined the edge of the ‘river.’
- Stake it out, so you don’t lose the spot.
(Here’s another explanation of the process, via the Society of American Dowsers.)
Uncle believes (and I do, too) that the process has something to do with magnetism and electricity. Our bodies run on these elements…and the earth is full of them. Bodies of water will concentrate the process, somehow…and the electrical systems in our body respond to that.
I don’t know for sure how this works — but I do know that I’ve seen the stick in Uncle’s hand bend down so hard that it couldn’t be pulled back up. That, and the pure, clean water that runs out of the folks’ faucet every day. Even if you’re skeptical, it’s one low-cost, green method to locate water on your property.
Cindy Brick lives in Colorado — one dry place that could always use more water. For more, take a look at her blog, A Brick Looks At Life.