Wales Town will dig new well, older well not practical to fix
Board to replace damaged water wells that have left residents high and dry over the summer months.
During a one-week period, from June 21-29, residents of the town experienced an shortage of secondary irrigation water due to two of the town’s water wells breaking down.
After some digging, it was discovered that the town’s No. 1 well needed a new pump and motor, while well No. 2 had a wiring issue.
Because the only source of water the town had was from a spring, Mayor Keith Jensen instigated a no-watering restriction. After a quick repair of well No. 2’s wiring issue, the no-watering restriction was lifted on July 5, although residents were still restricted to watering only two days a week.
Sunrise Engineering of Fillmore was asked to investigate the problem with well No. 1. Technicians found not only a mechanical issue but also large holes lined the 8-inch casing of the well. Jensen said the casing was worn thin to a point it was no longer usable.
Because of the diameter of the old casing, Jensen said replacing it would also require a smaller motor and pump. Such a pump would not have the horsepower to pump water to tanks that sit approximately 250-feet above the town.
Finally the council decided the No. 1 well was not repairable and to drill a new well instead.
Justin Atkins, project manager of Sunrise Engineering, estimated the total cost of the new well at $253,000. Although seemingly high priced, he said it was worth the investment as a future water source for the town.
“Considering the circumstances, I think this was the best approach, the pursuit to drilling the well,” Atkins told residents who attended a town board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6. “You can go in a repair a well, but there are limitations which, in effect, could cause more problems than it’s worth.”
Although repairing the No. 1 well would cost a lot less than drilling a new one, board member Byron Davis said repairs come without guarantees and probably wouldn’t last very many years.
The town has been fiscally responsible and recently paid off a loan for a water tank replacement, which freed up approximately $8,000.
Consequently, the town was able to make a down payment of $13,000 on the well project, which decreased the new monthly loan payment to $4,000.
Because the loan came from federal sources, the town’s water rates had to be investigated. It was determined that rates were too low and must to be raised in order to help pay the loan back.
“There’s different ways we can raise the rate,” Jensen told the public. “I’m looking at leaving the base rate the same and adjusting the overage rate.” However, Jensen said rate increases will be left for future discussion.
In other news, young David Cottam asked if fliers could be inserted into residents’ water bills to help spread the word about his Eagle Scout project.
He and his brother, Ben, raised 300 cottonless cottonwood trees to be sold for $15 each. David and his troop plan to plant each tree sold to beautify the town. They mentioned that they hoped the town’s water supply would be sufficient to sustain the new trees.