Kaibab Lake, located north of Williams, is now about a quarter full with frozen water pumped in from city wells.
Other than waiting for escrow to close on the land, which the city purchased for around $18,000, the plan is essentially ready to go, said City Manager Dennis Wells.
“As far as an exact start date, we still have that under consideration,” he said. “There are some reasons to wait a little while in the form of some significant savings.”
Those savings, approximately $40,000, would come if the city agrees to wait for a drilling rig currently being used in Bechtel, Nev. The rig is expected to be available no later than March 15, though that could occur sooner, officials say.
In the meantime, Williams’ current water needs should be satisfied once a new stainless-steel pump is installed at the city’s Rodeo well this week.
We’ll then have two wells and the Kaibab Lake back-up,” Wells said.
“The real crunch time would come this summer,” he said. “Late spring or early summer, when demand goes up, if we don’t have another producing well and we don’t have run-off, then we’re in a crunch.”
Drilling the well could take anywhere from 45 to 90 days, Wells said.
“If everything goes smoothly and problems are not encountered, then it can be as quick as 30 days,” he said. “But if problems are encountered it can take longer to complete.”
And drilling in northern Arizona can be a dicey prospect, Wells said.
“Drilling in northern Arizona can be problematic,” he said. “Because you have volcanics mixed in with the sedimentary rock. That combination can be pretty risky sometimes to drill.”
According to a Dec. 18 water report, the city’s water supply is at six percent of capacity with approximately 52,000,000 gallons. The average daily system demand is about 500,000 gallons, the report states.
New pump for Rodeo well
The new $60,000 stainless-steel pump from Electric Submersible Pumps, of Denver, was purchased to replace a $54,000 pump purchased from Centrilift that lasted only 45 days. The well has had corrosion problems for some time, leading the council to opt for the stainless-steel replacement.
“Stainless steel is pretty much bullet proof when it comes to corrosion,” said Patch Karr, a well consultant hired by the city.
As part of the deal, ESP offered to supply a temporary pump while the city waited for a new pump to be built. That pump quit Dec. 15, according to a city water report.
That pump was taken to Casper, Wyo. to be torn down to figure out what went wrong. Corrosion was determined to be the pump’s downfall.