Since each state is in charge of controlling pollution and that usually involves the way wells are drilled, do you know if the two wells were designed and approved by somebody? The point is that surface work like sidewalk construction should not change the underground water source. If the source is polluted then there is likely to be a major problem and it really needs to be checked.
Minimum well requirements usually have specs on how deep the well casing has to extend into the ground as well as how high out of the normal surface water level they should be. Since surface water is almost always unsafe to drink, one of the main design points on wells has to be keeping surface runoff action separated from the underground water. Older wells that were built before any type of regulation can often be poorly designed and can change at the drop of a hat.
But a well that is well designed and drilled will not be bothered by something as low level as sidewall building.
When I hear of sudden deaths that are repeated, I am more inclined to look for the simple things that I may have missed. Something as simple as ammonia that is a constant should have bacteria built up to handle that extra load. Somewhat like doing a cycle only the ammonia is coming from the water instead of being out of a bottle. However, I can easily see a dead fish in the tank in some hidden spot can be a sudden death spiral for the rest of the tank.
Do the fish who are still living indicate that they are having ammonia problems?
Another potential that is showing up in unexpected places is the earthquakes which seem to be related to fracking. That is one thing that can suddenly open wells to different types of pollution. Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas were never known to have earthquakes until the last few years. Do you happen to live in an area where that has been happening?
Here is what I can tell you.
Fish are not showing any kind of stress. They're not gasping, they don't have clamped fins, all of them are eating as they normally do, ect..
There is no dead fish. None of the tanks are over stocked and I do head counts every morning when I get up and before I go to bed. I just did rounds after water changes and everybody is okay, for now.
For a water bridge until I figure out what is going on and what I'm going to do, I'm using spring and distilled water as I'm still on the hunt for RO water. I didn't have any luck today and spent all afternoon looking. All new water has been tested and it's clean. If nothing else, I won't be adding more ammonia to the problem. The water is soft, but it is being re-mineralized.
I do not leave dead plant material laying around. Any leaf debris is cleaned out, and since I vacuum all the tanks once a week, if there is the occasional dead leaf, it isn't in the tank or tanks for long.
Before starting work on sidewalks, the entire drainage system under the road was taken apart and re-done. The water table is now screwed up as where water never used to pool before, pools now. Whether this has any bearing on the situation, I don't know. I do know that the drains that once worked no longer do.
While the state has specific levels of various things that are deemed 'acceptable', it is up to the local Board of Health to look into the problem when they are called. Until I have a water report, in hand from the lab, they are going to continue to blow me off because 'it's not their problem.'
I don't have a problem with stepping on toes if need be. When I have a report in hand and should I see things are completely out of whack and the town still refuses to look into it, then I'll go directly to the state. If I can't get anywhere then, I'll continue to go up the chain of command until somebody listens.
There has been no earthquakes, I don't live in a area where there is fracking, ect... The only thing that has been going on here is lack of rain. I don't know if that has anything to do with all of this either. This is not the first dry summer we've had, but I suppose anything is possible.
It could be that the ammonia levels I'm finding are only part of a bigger problem. Plants don't melt and die just from ammonia.
A question for anybody that knows. Is there is a point where ammonium becomes toxic? The ammonium levels from my tap are off the charts via the Seachem ammonia test kit. That kit allows for testing of free ammonia and total ammonia.