New Dogtown 4 well to cost city of Williams $730,000

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - In the wake of the Dogtown 1 well failure, the city of Williams is moving forward with plans to develop a new well in the area.

Williams City Council members approved the location for the new Dogtown 4 well at their June 26 meeting. Dogtown 4 will be located 200 feet southwest from Dogtown 2 and 100 feet east from the Dogtown 3 waterline.

According to a staff report from Kyle Christiansen to the mayor and council, city staff chose this location after consulting with HydroSystems, Inc., which completed a survey in the Dogtown area in 2006. The chosen location is far enough from the collapsed Dogtown 1 well while remaining close enough to the existing water and electrical lines.

The next step is for the city to obtain permits from the U.S. Forest Service and Salt River Project officials, which could take one to two months. After that, drilling would take another two months.

The Dogtown 4 well is expected to cost in the $730,000 range, including drilling, engineering, utilities to the new well site and a new water line.

Dogtown 1 stopped producing water on May 19, although the reason has not yet been determined. The well was previously producing about 250 gallons per minute, which came out to about 11 million gallons per month.

City staff is now exploring the option of reviving the Dogtown 1 well. The first step in doing so is to determine the problem by removing the column pipe. Drill Tech workers have already tried unsuccessfully to pull the system several times using cranes, but the system is stuck. The next course of action will be more drastic.

"They send down a charge, which in essence detonates, and they hope...that the column pipe will separate from the top of the motor," Christiansen said.

If workers can separate the column pipe from the pump, they'll be able to send a camera down into the well to diagnose the problem. City staff is still waiting for an estimate of how much the process would cost, and the city council would likely have to approve the expense.

In other water related news, the Rodeo Well is in its final testing stages before it can be connected to the city's water system. At the June 12 council meeting, Christiansen reported that the arsenic level was at 10.2 parts per billion, and the arsenic level must be at 10.0 parts per billion before the city is able to send it to the distribution center. However, the latest arsenic reading came back at 17.3 parts per billion.

"Current tests show the arsenic is creeping back up but still within around where we can treat it at water treatment plant," Christiansen said.

He explained that the water will be blended with water from Dogtown Lake and the Dogtown 3 well and then treated as a whole.

Pending some final testing and pipe work to connect the Rodeo Well to the Dogtown line, Christiansen expects that the city will be using the well within the next two weeks.

Until the water from the Rodeo Well is drinkable, the water is going into the effluent water supply, where it ends up watering the golf course.

City officials received some good news when they learned that the Rodeo Well was pumping more water than they originally thought. While water officials originally estimated it was pumping about 120 gallons per minute, the new estimate is 140 gallons per minute.

"That doesn't sound like a lot up front, but when you do your math it equates to quite a bit of water during the day," Christiansen said.

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