New well requires further testing

Problems with new well

A new well that has been drilled to supplement the town’s water supply will need further testing before it will be given approval by Alberta Environment.

At its Tuesday meeting, council met with representatives from Tagish Engineering Ltd. who discussed problems with the new well.

Greg Smith from Tagish Engineering explained that the water quality tests for the well are good, but gas in the aquifer surrounding the well is causing the data readings (how the well responds to being pumped) to fluctuate.

“The water is safe for human consumption. We can cross that off. It’s just the volume of water that can be pumped out that is the issue.”

“We can’t get the reading that environment requires,” said CAO Lori Hillis later.

There is a possibility that a research team the University of Calgary may take on the issue as a research project, said Smith.

Hillis said a new well is necessary to supplement the town’s water supply, but the issue won’t be resolved until spring.

“If well 13 went down we wouldn’t have enough water to supply the town,” she said.

The well is now plugged below frost level to allow for future testing in the spring of 2018.

Drilling the new well which was Phase 1 of the water well project cost $190,000. Two wells were drilled in this phase, but the first well was unproductive. The estimated cost of the completed project is $2.2 million. A total of two thirds of the project will be covered by provincial grant funding.

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