Caraway water well woes addressed during council meeting

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Terry Couch, Caraway water/wastewater superintendent, discussed the problem with the city's well during the Caraway City Council meeting held Thursday.

“We still have an iron load coming out of that thing midway while the well is running,” Couch said.

Couch said the plan is for Jeff Jones Hydro to come in and run an airline all the way to the bottom of the 1128 foot well. Jones will run a two inch line and induce air into it, following that he will insert acid into the well to clean the whole well. Then he will go back down the well and pump chlorine to clear out any iron bacteria that may remain.

“It was installed in '68 and has never had maintenance done in this way, so this is new ground for me too. It’s well rehab and its something that I guess everybody faces, this is just the first time we’ve had to face it,” Couch said.

Couch said if this process does not fix the well the department has a back-up plan. The plan will be to put a discharge on the side of the well with a timer on it. Every time it comes on the well will run for a few minutes and it will run into a ditch for a certain number of minutes and then switch back to normal so that the blast of unsuitable water is not used.

“I’ve talked to different people that are experts in the field, and some of them tell me I’ve got a hole in the screen, and other experts disagree with that. The one guy I was talking to said, ‘You’ve got sediments coming in.’ I disagree, but I’m not an expert in well-building either,” Couch said.

Couch said the well only pumps about 65,000 gallons a day on average which is down from years ago when it was pumping 200,000 gallons a day. He said because the well sits inactive for so long it appears iron has fallen down into the bottom of the well. He believes the iron in the bottom of the well is soluble and when the well turns on it takes a certain amount of time for the water where the iron build-up is to reach the pump.

“All these towns have said, when they ask me who I am using, ‘Yeah that’s the guy to get, that’s the company,'” Couch said.

Couch has not yet been given a price quote for the treatment process, but he will get one for the council to see before the process is started.

Couch also asked the council for approval to be able to hire a part time employee who would work no more than 29 hours a week with a pay of $10.50 per hour.

The council also voted the new street where the new apartment complex is being built in the city would be called “Valerie Lane.”

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