Well well well
Last updated 3/11/2021 at 11:45am
BWD will soon be drilling a new potable water well this year to better serve the town’s needs. Like everything in our water delivery infrastructure, wells have a limited lifespan. At the end of their lifespan, they no longer provide sufficient water.
You might ask “a well is just a hole in the ground, how can a hole wear out?” True, a well is a deep hole in the ground but most importantly it has a metal casing inside and the sides have small openings “slots” that let the water from the ground flow in. The slots are tiny, the width of the end of a ball point pen (0.8mm). Without the casing and the specifically designed gravel pack around it, the hole would collapse on itself and or have low flow due to intrusion of sand/dirt into the casing that eventually would obstruct the slots.
To determine the cleanliness of the casing, every year BWD contracts with experts in this field to perform a pump check on each well, measuring the maximum flow of water the well can produce. About every five years production has decreased because the slots are clogged and need to be cleaned. To do this BWD runs a camera the length of the well checking its integrity and if all good, cleans the casing with high pressure air and water blasts.
Cleaning improves the water flow, but the well is never as good as it was at the last cleaning. After 6-8 cleanings or 30-40 years, the slots and surrounding rock become so clogged that the well’s production is too low to meet the town’s needs. In extreme cases, the casing falls apart, the well hole collapses on itself and no water can be extracted.
To ensure there’s enough water for Borrego, BWD drills a replacement well 4-5 years before the current well is no longer productive. BWD’s well known as ID-5-5 has reached its final few years and this year BWD will be putting in a replacement. The two wells will run in tandem for a few years then ID-5 will pump will be removed and the well hole will be filled with concrete to protect our aquifer and prevent accidents or used for Basin Monitoring.
The new well is part of BWD’s Capital Improvement Plan, made to ensure continued service into the future. Funding of the Projects required consists of Grants, Bond Financing and Water Rates and Charges. Every five years, BWD goes through a complex rate setting process in a process created by CA Proposition 218. The process to set rates for 2021 thru 2026 is underway and more information will be coming later in March on the Prop 218 rate setting process and important dates for public meetings.