After factoring in what is being pumped into the city water supply from the Dogtown Well, city officials now project Williams won’t need to haul water until May.
This statement was made by Joe Duffy, city finance director and assistant city manager, at a Williams City Council work session held last Thursday. Duffy’s extended estimate comes on the heels of a prior report issued June 8 by Ron Stilwell, public works director, which stated Williams would need to start hauling water by mid-September, based solely on reservoir depletion.
In an interview after the work session, Dennis Dalbeck, city manager, said water from Dogtown Well will delay the need to start hauling.
“The earlier estimated prediction water hauling would need to get underway by September did not take into consideration the 42-percent contribution from Dogtown Well No. 1,” Dalbeck said.
Dalbeck said the well is producing a steady 220 gallons per minute.
Duffy analyzed water storage, production and loss to evaporation and seepage on a month-by-month basis from 1995-1999 and projected those amounts through December 2001. Starting with June, he factored in 9 million gallons a month from the Dogtown Well.
Bids to drill additional city wells, funded by the $3 million bond issue passed by Williams voters May 16, were opened by city officials Tuesday. Bid information was not available prior to presstime, but city council will discuss them and possibly award a bid at Thursday’s regular city council scheduled for 7 p.m. at city hall.
At last week’s work session, city officials also discussed the possibility of seeking funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for drought relief.
The Reclamation States Drought Relief Act of 1991 provides funding for construction, management and conservation activities once a state of emergency has been declared. Dalbeck said city officials have had two meetings with reclamation bureau representatives.
“They have advised us we may be eligible for a Title I grant to get federal monies to help mitigate expenses should we haul water or drill additional wells,” he said. “The city must first declare a state of emergency, which will be done at the June 22 council meeting.”
This federal funding does not have to be reimbursed. It can be used for drilling wells, diking and dredging river channel efficiency, line canals with temporary materials, installation of temporary fish screens, installation of temporary equipment to proper water temperature, temporary installation of pumps in reservoirs and canals in order to lift water to outlets, improved measurement and reporting conditions and diversions, participation in state established water banks and change in diversion schedules.
Loans are also available to address long-term solutions for periods no longer than 15 years.
Ken Edes, Williams mayor, brought up the devastating effect dry conditions are having on Elephant Rocks Golf Course.
“We are looking into taking water out of Gonzales Lake to fill the lakes at the golf course,” Edes said. “That will give us (effluent) water to use before the monsoons.
“Currently the wastewater treatment plant is producing only 200,000 gallons a day.”
Dalbeck said due to low water usage and dry conditions, the yield at the treatment plant is lower. He stressed water from the lake is not part of the drinking water system and is untreatable due to its low quantity. He estimated the shallow lake holds about 8 million gallons.
“Lake Gonzales is located north of Interstate 40 within several feet of the refuse water line to the golf course,” Dalbeck said. “We have been hand watering the greens and tee boxes but not the fairways. But we need to do so to preserve the city’s investment.”
Duffy said it will cost the city about $10,000 to connect a water line from Lake Gonzales to the golf course effluent line.