Originally Published: February 12, 2010 9:59 p.m.
Chino Valley has plenty of water - at least for the time being.
Ron Grittman, engineer and Public Works director, told the town council Thursday the town's sole water source - the Country West Well - is still pumping about 500 gallons of water per minute (gpm) and the town's demand is only 90 gpm.
In November 2009, his staff discovered the pump was producing sand while cleaning the 168,000-gallon water tank located by the well. The well is located on the east side of Highway 89 and south of Road 2 North. As a result, the town needs to have a contractor pull the pump and rehabilitate the well.
Even if there was an absolute catastrophe, he said the town, with its new 1 million gallon water storage tank at Bright Star, would have enough water to handle residents' needs for a couple of months.
Grittman had hoped the town could put a pump in the Highlands Ranch Well, which is located south of Road 1 North on Arden Court, because it is the only site that sits immediately adjacent to the town's water distribution system.
Bright Star, which is responsible to equip this well as part of its development agreement, was planning to start work on the well the end of this year.
However, Grittman said, the well has problems. The well is one foot off-center 100 feet down, so the pipe would have to bend around the hole's curves. He said there is a chance a 10-inch well casing could fit in the dogleg well for $40,000-$60,000.
They could place an eight-inch diameter submersible pump to get 600-700 gpm with 200 feet of perforated casing for $90,000.
The engineer's work and construction of the building at the well site would cost $120,000-$150,000.
The total cost to equip the well, if it can be done, would be $255,000-$300,000.
Grittman said the well driller believes the best alternative for the town would be to drill a 17-inch-diameter well at the Bright Star Tank Site. The driller proposes to drill a 17-inch well with 14-inch casing to a depth of 700-750 feet with 300 feet of perforated casing at the bottom for $200,000.
The town would install a 12-inch-diameter 200 horsepower submersible pump with eight-inch column propellers to pump 1,000-1,250 gpm.
Grittman said the town would save money at this site because it wouldn't have to construct a building at the well site since the well will lift the water directly into the 1 million gallon storage tank.
He estimates the well could be online by mid-April. It will take two to three weeks to drill a new well, he said.
Grittman doesn't know whether or not the well's water will have a high enough concentration of arsenic in it that it will have to be treated. "We won't know that until the well is drilled and we can test the water," he said.
The council agreed with Grittman that drilling a new well at Bright Star is the best alternative. Grittman said he expects work to start on the new well in the next two to three weeks.
Town Attorney Tom Kack said the Bright Star Development Agreement will need to be amended to permit a well on the tank site. Charley Arnold, Bright Star's director of operations, said he didn't see any problem.
He also reiterated his earlier statement, "We will work with the town so its residents on the system don't have any interruption."
Grittman said once the Bright Star Well is online, the town will pull the Country West Well's pump and rehabilitate the well. "We will use it as a backup well for our system," he said.
When the Country West Well and the Bright Star Well are online, that will give the town two water sources, giving it a complete redundancy protection in the production of water in the community.