Houston needs to replace one of its wells to ensure the municipality won’t run out of water in the future.
According to a report prepared by Paul Gordon, the District of Houston manager of engineering and operations, the district anticipates losing one of its wells in the near future due to its age and general condition.
Currently, the district has four wells connected to its water system.
Well number one, located near the district’s water treatment plant, is the municipality’s primary source of water, with a rated capacity of 4.2 cubic metres per minute.
Well number two, located in the area known as Industrial Park, was constructed in 1969 to a depth of 12.5 metres and has a production capacity of 1.4 cubic metres per minute.
While well number one can supply the district on its own, should there be a sudden loss of this well, well number two would not provide enough water to supply the municipality. In fact, without well number one, Gordon says the district would run out of water in just two to three days.
Well number two is recorded in the district’s capital asset inventory as “beyond its serviceable life cycle.” In addition, Gordon says there’s a potential for groundwater contamination due to its proximity to the surface.
According to Gordon, the replacement of well number two would not only support sustainable service delivery, but would represent a significant improvement to the water system by replacing an asset which is beyond its serviceable life cycle.
Meanwhile wells number three and four are abandoned and need to be decommissioned as the district is still maintaining the buildings they are in.
The district plans to apply for a grant, which could pay for 100 per cent of the well replacement project’s cost. In order to submit the application before its Jan. 20, 2019 deadline, however, the district needs to have a project plan developed by a civil engineering consultant.
District staff are now in the process of issuing request for proposals.
“The proposals will be analyzed on their merit and the accepted consultant will enter hourly fee discussions at that time,” explained Gordon.
In reviewing the district’s water fund budget for 2018, district staff identified $28,000 available for use in the 2018 fiscal year. According to Gordon, staff intend to use this budget to position the district for a successful grant application in 2019.