Usage exceeds 1.8 billion gallons
Population growth in south Madison County has necessitated the addition of two water wells currently under construction by the Bear Creek Water Association generating some interest on social media.
Bear Creek currently pumps about 1.8 billion gallons of water annually from nine wells each about 1,200 feet deep in what is known as the Sparta aquifer.
Growth in the 105-square-mile service area of Bear Creek that includes Madison, Gluckstadt and nearby unincorporated areas necessitated the first new wells since about 2006.
An aerial photograph on the Gluckstadt Facebook page recently showed one of the new wells being drilled on Clarkdell Road that runs east of U.S. 51 between Yandell and N. Old Canton.
“Does anyone know what or why they are drilling on Clarkdell Road? The drilling has been going on for about a month now…” the post stated.
People immediately responded in the comments speculating that workers were drilling for Co2 or natural gas.
One early commenter called on Nolan Williamson, general manager for the Bear Creek Water Association.
“Nolan Williamson? You typically know what’s up,” the commenter stated.
Williamson did not take long to reply to say it is a “water well. 20-inch casing, about 1,200 feet deep. Going to pull about 1600 GPM from the Sparta aquifer.”
“We are pumping about 1.8 billion gallons annually with 9 wells,” Williamson said in another comment on the Facebook post. “During peak times it is hard to keep the tanks full. This well is about $1.6 million. This is a well. This will not be an elevated tank.”
Williamson said the well on Clarkdell Road is one of the two wells the association is currently drilling. The other well is on North Livingston Road, which is west of I-55.
The well on North Livingston Road will add about 558 million gallons annually and the one on Clarkdell 470 million gallons annually, according to the permits, to the association’s water output, Williamson said.
“(The North Livingston Road well) is a little further along right now, meaning it's drilled and they moved that drilling rig from North Livingston over there to Clarkdell,” Williamson said.
Work left to do on the North Livingston Road site is setting the pump and the generator and building a well house.
“That kind of stuff, so it is a little further along,” Williamson said.
Completing a well takes approximately 10 or 11 months, Williamson said, adding the North Livingston Road well should be complete by March and the one on Clarkdell Road will be completed by July.
“The drilling rig will be gone before then,” Williamson said of the Clarkdell Road well. “The drilling rig might be gone by January but the well won’t be in service until probably July. Once the drilling rig is gone there is still a lot of work left to do.”
Williamson said the Bear Creek Water Association services a little more than 18,000 meters, mostly residential customers but also some commercial customers, representing some 40,000 to 45,000 people in south Madison County.
For more information, go to bcwaterms.org.