The Laurie Board of Aldermen is pursuing another attempt to resolve an issue with its main water well.
Located off of Route O, Well 3 is the largest source of water for the city, but has had intermittent problems with infiltration of sediment since it went online in 2001 and with episodes of cloudiness increasing since late 2009.
Bartlett & West Engineering received approval from the board Feb. 13 to move forward with a proposal of cost to install a lining in the well to try to block the infiltration. A rough estimate made in a recently completed master plan for the water system put the cost at approximately $50,000.
If the city moves forward with the project, the proposal will be submitted to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for a construction permit and for bid documents in a sealed bid process.
Well 3 has long had problems with producing cloudy water. A past attempt to rectify the issue, lowering the pump from 400 to 695 feet, proved unsuccessful.
A turbidity sensor now shuts off the well from the system when cloudiness is detected, allowing the city to keep the water from coming out at users' taps.
In the master plan for the water system, the rehabilitation of Well 3 received the highest priority on the list of potential projects. Bartlett & West Engineering recommended the city install a lining in Well 3 below the current casing.
In a diagnostic video of the well, it appeared that a section about 150 feet below the casing was a rough area with a lot of broken up rock and silt material. Most of the water comes from deep within the well where the cut appears to be smoother, so the liner would potentially seal the rough section out without affecting the water supply.
Like the relocation of the pump, the lining is not a guaranteed fix, but neither is a new well, according to Public Works Director Ed Young.
A new well was one of the options considered in the master plan along with filtering, interconnecting to another system, surface water treatment, section control and continuing as is. The alternative options were considered prohibitively expensive, and enlarging Well 2 was not considered feasible by the engineering firm.
When Well 3 is offline, the city relies on Well 2. Well 1 is not operational.
Smaller with less pump capacity than Well 3, Well 2 is capable of meeting the capacity of an average day, but at peak flow would not be enough to meet the needs of the city. Additionally, DNR recommends redundancy in the source of water for more reliability.