By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
AINSWORTH ? According to Chad McCleary of Ion Environmental Solutions Water and Wastewater Contractors for the City of Ainsworth, a drastic drop in water levels in the Ainsworth well has led to the discovery that Ainsworth will have to drill an entirely new well to replace the current well.
On March 30 the City of Ainsworth Water Plant experienced a sudden and drastic reduction in the well?s capacity to produce water.
Gingerich Well and Pump was called in to investigate.
It was determined that the water levels in the well had dropped roughly 30 feet.
A conservation order was then put into place while the well was out of service.
By making some adjustments to the pump, the city was able to pump water again on March 31.
?Considering that it is extremely rare for a well to have such a drastic drop in water levels in such a short amount of time, the city decided to have the well taken out of service and televised once the levels recovered in the water tower,? McCleary said.?Gingerich came on April 17 to do the work and was able to determine that the well had experienced a collapse of the bottom 200 feet of casing. This was undoubtedly the cause of the issues that the well was experiencing.?
He said that with the failure to the well casing, the city has no choice but to drill a new well.
He said the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is considering this an emergency situation and is allowing the city to move forward with immediate plans to replace the current well.
McCleary said the city doesn?t have a time frame on the project yet, but that once funding is secured to pay for the drilling of a new well, the plan is to proceed as soon as possible.
He said that assuming there are no major delays, it is feasible for the new well to be in service within the next 30 days.
He said that he can?t speak to what impact drilling a new well will have on property taxes for propertyowners in Ainsworth, but said a ?ballpark? figure for the drilling of a new well would be about $500,000.
Until the project is complete, Ainsworth residents are being asked to conserve as much water as possible while the city works through the issue.
The City of Washington has offered to help Ainsworth however they can. City administrator Brent Hinson said the city is allowing extra water to be trucked to Ainsworth after being filled from the Washington tower. Hinson said the cost will be settled later.
?it is just a neighbor helping a neighbor,? Hinson said. ?It?s the way it should be.?