Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Schrader said there was a noticeable decrease in flow in Well #5, located at the bottom of Country Club and Wild Turkey drives, in April. Where it had been pumping 500 gpm (gallons per minute), it had dropped to 390 gpm and was getting worse.
Well #5 is the main well servicing the mainland in Holiday Island, Schrader said, assisted by Well #4.
"The well shaft is vibrating so badly it is causing continuous damage," he said. He said the vibration at the base of the pump is also affecting the motor shaft, but the district has a replacement motor in stock if needed.
He said the well runs 24 hours a day.
Earl Carter of Mathis, Carter & Associates was on hand to give additional information.
The district is looking at $14,000 to $16,000 just to pull the pump and see what is going on, he said. This estimate was provided by the Layne Christensen Co. of Kansas City, Mo., who installed the well.
Carter said repair estimates are from $80,000 to $85,000. He said the well would be out of commission for a week, but the entire inspection and repair process, from the Notice to Proceed, could take four to six weeks.
In the meantime, Well #2, which has been shut down for several years, would be brought back online to assist Well #4. Well #2 had been shut down for consistent over-limit radon readings, but in recent years readings have stayed within Health Department acceptable limits.
Cost to bring that well back online, which involves upgrading telemetry and reconnecting a 10-foot pipe to the main distribution system and the Summit Avenue tank, could be from $20,000 to $25,000, which is included in the $85,000 estimate.
Well #2 would be brought online before Well #5 is taken down, he said. It will assist Well #4, but cannot replace Well #5.
"Well #5 is the workhorse," Schrader said. Well #4 is only backup.
"We're trying to recover 400 gallons per minute," he said, "but you may want to tell residents to conserve water."
Carter said the Well #5 pump had lasted 10.5 years, as the water is very clean in Holiday Island, making it fortunate, as other locations have to pull theirs every five years, he added.
Commissioner Ken Brown asked whether the district's 80-percent finished water loss makes the Well #5 pump have to work harder, as it's pumping 24 hours a day.
"It's designed to run and pump 500 gallons per minute," Schrader said. "It doesn't matter whether that's during the day or at night."
Brown said he would vote to approve the project, but wanted to know whether there are other pumps the district should be looking at "so we don't have to have a special meeting and spend $85,000?"
Schrader said yes, there are other pumps and lift stations that should be looked at with an eye to planning for future repairs and replacements, which falls under normal maintenance, and that can be brought up with the board.
The board approved the repair of Well #5, with its associated costs, not to exceed $85,000. Funds will come from undesignated reserves.
The board then went into a short executive session to consider applicants for the district manager position. It returned to open meeting and took no action.