Tooele City has approved a $1.5 million contract to drill two new wells within the city to increase water supply for future growth.
The city currently has 11 wells and two springs in use that meet the current needs of Tooele City’s population of around 32,000, said Tooele City Engineer Paul Hansen.
“We have some additional capacity, but we don’t have a lot of flexibility if one of our current wells goes down due to a pump motor failure or any of a number of other instances,” he said. “That’s why we’re developing two new wells this year.”
Earlier this month, the Tooele City Council voted unanimously to approve a contract with Fresno, Calif.- based Zim Industries, Inc. to drill two wells — one at the city’s rodeo grounds at 600 North and 200 West, and the other at the Kennecott “B” site, which is east of Droubay Road along Ericson Road.
The drilling will begin the first part of April. The wells will be drilled one at a time, with the rodeo grounds’ site drilled first.
“Each of the new wells is estimated to produce 1,000 to 1,500 gallons per minute,” said Hansen. “We don’t know exactly how much each will produce because you never know what you’ll find. We are relying on the best available technology, groundwater modeling the state has completed, and information from adjacent wells. We feel confident we’ll find water, but we just don’t know until we drill.”
Hansen said the addition of the two new wells should allow 1,000 homes to be built within city limits and have ample water supply.
The wells are being paid for with impact fees. A five percent contingency, or $75,000, is included in the provision.
Each well should take about three months to drill, Hansen said, which is basically just the hole in the ground. The wells will not be put into production until they are totally completed, which should be spring of 2014.
“As soon as we get confirmation on quantity and quality, we’ll move into the well house design and piping,” he said. “Our bid is for them to drill 1,000 feet down. That’s pretty typical for Tooele wells. Our depth to groundwater here in this part of the valley is around 400 to 600 feet. That’s very deep.”
Hansen said the city owns water rights at the rodeo grounds, and has an agreement with Kennecott to use its water rights for the well near Ericson Road.
“Several years ago the city entered into an agreement with Kennecott to use their water rights within the city,” he said. “We didn’t buy or put any money out for those.”
The two springs, which are located in Middle and Settlement Canyons, do not have to be pumped like the wells. The city’s wells pump between 500 and 2,000 gallons of water per minute, depending on the formations of the aquifers below the ground and the diameter of the pipe accessing the water. All of the water from the wells and springs are distributed throughout the city.