Wel­come Cen­ter well re­port­edly up and run­ning

El Dorado News-Times - - Front Page - By Kait­lyn Rig­don Staff Writer Kait­lyn Rig­don can be reached at 870-862-6611 or at krig­don@el­do­radonews.com.

The wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing well lo­cated by the Wel­come Cen­ter on High­way 167 south was the top pri­or­ity at the Union County Wa­ter Con­ser­va­tion Board meet­ing Wed­nes­day.

Late last year, the cas­ing on the well be­gan to crack and the en­tire well had to be re­placed. The re­place­ment process be­gan June 19 and was worked on 24 hours a day un­til its com­ple­tion June 27.

Cur­rently, only the sod and a new well house, which will cover the well, re­main to be fin­ished. One side of the well house will be made out of plex­i­glass for ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses, al­low­ing peo­ple to see in­side the well and how it works.

The wa­ter level of the new well is 308 feet, a 3-feet el­e­va­tion dif­fer­ence from the old well.

Derek Bell, wa­ter plant oper­a­tor for Ap­plied Spe­cialty Inc., up­dated the board on the wa­ter treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties ex­pan­sion project. They had a record day on Wed­nes­day, record­ing 24 mil­lion gal­lons of wa­ter, Bell said, which was able to be ac­com­plished by us­ing both the old and new sys­tems.

“This is only a new path we’ve ven­tured down the last cou­ple of weeks be­cause we’ve had the de­mand,” Bell said. “Its de­sign ca­pa­bil­ity is 4,600 gal­lons a minute. We run around 3,200.

“We can make a max­i­mum of 40 mil­lion (gal­lons), but we can only pump for 24 mil­lion. We just need to im­prove the pump­ing sys­tem.”

Sher­rel John­son, the UCWCB grants ad­min­is­tra­tor, asked the board to ap­prove an amend­ment to ac­cept $20,000 from the United State Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey for wa­ter mea­sure­ment equip­ment.

“We have a joint fund­ing agree­ment with the USGA. They have an ex­tra $20,000 they can spend on our mon­i­tor­ing net­work this fed­eral fis­cal year,” John­son said. “No cash will come down here, it’s just in­creas­ing the joint fund­ing agree­ment by $20,000.”

The money will go to­wards mea­sur­ing tapes and elec­tronic tapes that will mea­sure ground wa­ter lev­els.

John­son also rep­re­sented the UCWCB at the Aspen Nicholas Wa­ter Fo­rum, where they dis­cussed ground wa­ter. “We are re­ally the only ones in the na­tion that are record­ing ground wa­ter re­cov­ery,” John­son said. “When you read about ground wa­ter is­sues and wa­ter is­sues in the coun­try, you’re go­ing to read that ground wa­ter is de­clin­ing and ev­ery­body is in trou­ble, but we are mea­sur­ing ground wa­ter re­cov­ery, be­cause back in the ’90s, we did some­thing about it.”

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