Town’s main water well is weakening

By DEMETRIUS THOMPSON,

Public Works Director David Anderson informed the Board of Alderman about a potentially serious problem with the town’s water system at their April 3 meeting.

Anderson said that the town’s main water well, which is used to access groundwater in underground aquifers, is starting to fail.

Anderson said the main well’s pump to pump 500 gallons a minute, and at that rate it will run 10 hours a day. He said it has dropped off in its production over the past three years, with it pumping 457 gallons per minute in 2014 and 2015, but dropping to 439 in 2016, and 376 in January, which is causing it to run 16-18 hours a day.

Anderson said daily well checks revealed that the pumps had been running 16 to 18 hours a day to keep up with the town’s demand.

“That is using a lot of power in that well to keep up, not to mention that eventually it’s just going to quit,” Anderson said. “If we wait I might get a call come in one day that somebody doesn’t have water and then we’ll be in a bind.”

Anderson said the well has to be pulled out of the ground to see what the problem is, which  would cost around $4,500. If it is a serious problem and has to be repaired, the quote to rent a temporary well would be $1,850, plus $30 per day for the rental.

The board approved to hire Thompson Brothers Drilling, which is based in Ellisville, to pull the well up to see what the issue is, and Mayor David Marshall said there could be some financial help if the well needs to be replaced.

“We can apply for another small municipal grant and look at drilling another well, but we’re talking November before we can do anything like that and that’s if we can get the small municipal grant that we have now closed out before then,” Marshall said.

Anderson said the North Decatur Water Association’s well can’t back up the other municipal pump and keep up with its customers’ demands at the same time.

The board also approved purchasing rumble strips to curb speeding motorists on Broad Street.

The town has been having trouble with speeders past the railroad tracks on Broad Street heading towards Conehatta. The speeding is worse for motorists heading eastbound.

After viewing a demo of the strips, Alderman Mark Buntyn suggested separating the strips to keep speeder from accelerating with them knowing that another strip is ahead on the road.

“I was impressed with the demo and I like it better than the flashing slow traffic signs because people are going to just ignore that after awhile,” Buntyn said.

In other business, Turkey Creek Water Park representative Pam Engle addressed the board to announce that the park will be hosting a fireworks display this summer for the Fourth of July holiday at 9 p.m. July 3.

Engle said the show will last for about a half hour, and admission will be $10 per car. There will also be concessions for sale at the park all day.

Engle said she has been going to businesses and organizations in Decatur to help sponsor the display. The board voted to take the town’s sponsorship under advisement.

The board also:

• made preparations to attend the MML Conference that will be held June 25-26.

• Accepted a bid from Davis and Holland for the CDBG lagoon project.

•  voted to pay a resident’s window repaired that was broken by debris that was thrown out by a bush hog while it was cutting grass. The board approved a quote for $667.73 for the window repair. 

• approved an ad for the Newton County Appeal Graduation Special section.