Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Well non-functional after being silent for two years

Boring Water District Board Chairman Bob Boring says there are many options to address the idled Compton well, but none of the options are good.

That’s why he says he thinks the board will “just sit on it.”

“We might look at (rehabilitating) the well in the next year’s budget,” he said.

Apparently the choice of site for the well — selected about seven years ago — wasn’t the best, but Boring says you can’t see several hundred feet below the surface and know what the well driller will find.

In this case, the drill penetrated a sand pit over the aquifer that is feeding some very good wells in the area, but not at the water district’s site near the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Compton Road near Highway 26.

The well stopped pumping a couple of years ago because of the sand, which clogged filters and eventually ruined a fairly new, and quite large, pump motor.

The pump and motor were sent to the factory to be evaluated for warranty claims, but the result was that the damage was caused by very fine sand.

Boring describes it as “flour sand,” which is so fine and lightweight that it floats on water.

“The more you drill, the worse it gets. (The sand) looks like Mount St. Helens ash.”

That fine sand was encountered when the driller added 100 feet to the well’s depth about a year ago, in hopes of passing through the (more coarse) sand layer and achieving even more volume of water.

But that idea was a bust.

It’s been a couple of years since that well pumped water on a regular basis, but Boring said the district is still OK without using the well.

“There’s no question that we need another well online,” he said. “But whether the board decides to put good money after bad in that hole, or what we will do, is still up in the air.”

The Compton well would assist in serving the north side of the district, especially adding water volume and pressure for fire service.

One of the popular options is to add concrete to the lowest 100 feet of the well’s depth — preventing the flour sand from entering the well.

In that scenario, they would place the well pump above the top of the concrete and hope they could draw at least 100 gallons a minute.

To test that option would cost more than $9,000, and that’s why rehabilitating the well is likely to wait until the board can justify it in a future year’s budget.

“If we could sustain 100 gallons a minute of useable water,” Boring said, “it would pay us to do it. But (to pay the cost for the test) is money we don’t have. The board is still trying to figure out where that money would come from.”

Boring is afraid, although not certain, that the district will eventually be forced to seek another well site on the north side of the district.

That’s a costly thought.

And for such a small district, it becomes increasingly difficult to gain capital grants for infrastructure improvements.

“There might be a chance of getting a grant,” Boring said, “but I seriously doubt that.”

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