Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | May 25, 2018

City reports problems with Well No. 6

By David Hotle | Jul 06, 2017



While no formal vote was taken Wenesday evening, the Washington City Council informally agreed to spend $45,000 for an acidizing of Well 6 after it was reported the well is running at about half capacity. A formal vote will be taken during the July 18 meeting.

During the regular council meeting in the Washington Public Library Nicola-Stoufer conference room, water superintendent Chad McCleary and Fox Engineering manager Rob Baker said the recasing project for Well 6 had been completed and test pumping was being done. It was discovered the production of the well was about half what it had been prior to the project being done.

“It went from about 600 gallons a minute out of that well to about 300 gallons a minute during the testing,” Baker said. “We’re not exactly sure why the capacity of the well decreased. The things that are different is the well is a little over 2,000 feet deep and there is a bottom part under the water-bearing formation. The bottom part of the well had a pump in it and some debris. Rather than trying to fish that out, we just filled that in with rock and capped it off, so we redused the depth by a couple of hundred feet at the bottom. The lower area of rock isn’t a water-bearing formation so we didn’t anticipate it would have that much impact on the water production.”

Because the issue wasn’t on the agenda, the council was unable to vote on it. Mayor Sandra Johnson said because the well had already been out of service for the work, this is not considered an emergency situation.

Baker said a camera had been sent down the well to look for obstructions, but no obvious blockages were found.

For the acidizing procedure, Baker said, a pipe will be lowered into the well and about 8,000 gallons of a special acid will be pumped into the well to improve the well production. He said it would remove any scaling or any biological material on the well. He said it is a standard maintenance method for deep wells.

While Baker said he believed the procedure would help, he doesn’t believe it will restore the capacity of the well to 600 gallons per minute.

“This is the best option,” Baker said. “There are not a lot of other options.”

McCleary said he did not believe the well would gain back 300 gallons per minute from the procedure. He said many times the city operates one well while the others are off-line. He said Well 6 wouldn’t be able to operate solo.

Washington has three wells that supply the city’s water. Well 6 had been taken offline in July 2015 after issues were discovered with the casing. It was temporarily recased and brought back into operation in March 2016 as a result of Well 7 being declared inoperative, as a means of supplying the water needed for the city.

It was announced in August 2016 that all three wells were operational and that Well 6 had a pump and motor in it that were installed as a temporary measure.

The total amount the city paid to get the wells in service was over $500,000.

The council also approved a bid of $4.9 million from Tricon Construction of Cedar Rapids for the renovation project for the city’s water treatment plant.

The engineer’s estimate for the project was about $5.4 million. Bids had come in from five contractors for the project.

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