The Town of Winamac is moving ahead with efforts to find a location for a new town well. Representatives from Midwestern Engineers gave an update to the town council Monday on a planning study for a well field.
Engineer Mark Sullivan says Midwestern Engineers has been working with well-drilling firm Peerless Midwest to conduct a fracture trace analysis. He says it’s a relatively new technique that can go a long way in finding the right location to start drilling a new well. “When you look from up above, you can kind of see drainage swells and changes in terrain, and what that indicates is potential fractures in the bedrock way down deep,” Sullivan explains. “And a trained geologist can kind of look at that and determine where these fractures may run, and what they’re looking for is where two fractures intersect.”
After considering the results of the analysis, as well as the location of contamination sources and where property owners might be favorable to the project, Midwestern Engineers recommended placing the well at a site east of Winamac. However, that would require boring two water lines under the river, one to transport the water into town and another to serve as a backup.
The current plan is to drill one new well, but purchase enough land for two, which would be about two acres. Sullivan says the next step is to try to secure a site, “Now I think the task before us is to start talking with some of the people to see if there’s some interest of somebody that may be interested in working with the town to acquire that. Assuming we can come up with a potential site, the next thing – even though we’ve done the fracture trace analysis and that gives us a high probability that there’s good groundwater there – ultimately, we would want to go out and do a test well.”
To do that, the town could choose to dig a small test well to check water capacity or a more expensive full-sized one. While it would cost more initially, if the test well proves successful, it can then be used for the finished well, saving costs later.
A new well is estimated to cost up to $250,000, but constructing the new pipes would bring the total construction cost closer to $750,000. Once the cost of engineering, legal fees, and a possible bond sale are added, the overall cost may be as much as a million dollars. However, grant funding may be available, including up to $600,000 from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.