MORONI—After hearing an optimistic report from a consulting engineer, the Moroni City Council approved purchase of just under an acre of land for a new culinary water well last week.
The council agreed to pay Sheldon Holgreen, a Moroni resident, $15,000 for a parcel of just over 200 square feet of land northwest of the Mud Boggs arena.
The well is part of a $3.54 million project to expand the city’s culinary water supply. Besides the well, the project includes a 500,000-gallon water tank, about two miles of piping, a pond to store water if the two city tanks ever overflow and a well house with computerized control equipment.
Currently, the city has two wells. Water from the older of the two wells has nitrate levels that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard. The city meets the standard by mixing water from both wells.
The trigger for the water expansion project was an incident in 2020 when the pump on the “good” well went out, and the city was forced to rely solely on water from the high-nitrate well.
Excess nitrates affect metabolism of oxygen in babies. They can cause blue-baby syndrome or even death. The city warned that pregnant women and babies less than 6 months old must not drink tap water and provided bottled drinking water to affected residents.
At the council meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21, Robert Worley, vice president of Sunrise Engineering, the consulting firm for the water project, said a test well had been completed and results were “really promising.”
Water samples from the test well show 0.7 parts per million of nitrates, far below the EPA standard of 10 parts per million. That amount is “actually less than on our good well,” Worley said.
He indicated the production well that will actually provide water to the city would be drilled in the same hole as the test well.
Worley said the site has artesian characteristics, meaning that pressure in the rocks underground will help push the water to the surface. That could reduce the amount of pumping required to get water out of the well. “It impacts the amount of energy you have to put into it,” Worley said.
The next steps, Worley said, are submitting some reports to the state and closing on a $2.48 million loan from the Utah Division of Drinking Water. He said drilling on the production well should start sometime in December.
Once the production well is finished and approved by the state, the city can move forward with the second phase of the project—the tank, piping, overflow pond and well house. The second phase “will take all summer, 6-8 months,” he said.
In other discussion, Councilman Bevan Wulfenstein once again brought up the abandoned Mud Boggs property, once used for auto and truck races.
“Each time I go past that place, I see land that could be used,” he said.
He suggested using at least part of the property for a skeet shooting range. “To me, that’s the easiest thing to get going” to start putting the site to use, he said.
A resident at the meeting suggested the property might also house an archery range.
The most viable use for the former arena would be for a horseback riding practice area and occasionally city events, Wulfenstein said.
He also called attention to a leaking roof on the one-time concession building near the arena. “If we want to save that building, it’s something we need to do this year,” he said.