WATER BOARD APPROVES ABANDONMENT OF WELL NO. 3

June 22, 2007

Madison-The Madison Board of Water Commissioners this week approved the immediate abandonment of Well No. 3 located on the near east side. The well, which is the oldest well in the water system, has been plagued with problems of iron, manganese and increasing levels of carbon tetrachloride. Water quality issues at the well caused the utility to shut down the well in September 2006 and it has not been operated since then.

Utility officials completed a review of the water supply serving the east side in April in order to determine if their would be sufficient supply to meet emergency demand (fire flow, extreme drought etc.) for the next five years, until a replacement well for Well No. 3 can be located and drilled. The Utility plans to have a replacement well online in 2012.

The analysis showed that there would be sufficient water supply to serve the area without Well No. 3 if the water utility follows through with the 5-year capital improvement plan previously adopted by the Water Board. Staff asked the Board to approve its recommendation for abandoning Well No. 3 in May, and the Board requested additional information about the specific capital projects in the plan that it needed to commit to in order to ensure that the area could be sufficiently served until a replacement well for Well 3 is constructed.

Principal Engineer Al Larson presented a report to the Board outlining those projects. The report identified $13.9 million of projects through 2011 that would need to be completed in order to maintain assurance of adequate supply until a replacement well is constructed. All of the projects had been planned to be constructed in that timeframe whether Well No. 3 is abandoned or not.

Water Board Commissioner George Meyer emphasized at the meeting that customers need to be aware that there are significant costs to maintaining our water system, and those costs will be reflected in increasing rates over time.

The utility will begin the process of permanently abandoning the well, and hopes to complete the process by the end of the year.

Contact:
  • David Denig-Chakroff, General Manager, 608-266-4652
  • Al Larson, WU Principal Engineer, 608-266-4653