Well #4 had to be shut down August 15, 2021 because of declining water levels. The draft budget for FY2022 assumes Well #4 will have to remain offline throughout the year and shows purchased water costing $925,450. This compares with actual purchased water costs of $312,132 in FY 2020 and $253,491 in FY2019. (FY2021 does not end until November 30.) So getting Well #4 back into production could save the Company about $600,000 next year, assuming purchased water will be available in the needed quantities. (That would be almost $1,000 per average shareholder.)
General manager Robert Eranio described his plan to the board at its October 28 meeting. He is seeking proposals from two pump companies to install a new pump either 40 feet or 60 feet below the current pump. He has considered installing a liner to cover the perforations above the existing pump to prevent “cascading” of water into the well, which could damage the pump. However, he has decided against that at this time because the water level is so low that little or no water is coming through these perforations. Furthermore, he thinks the upper perforations will be “the best part of the well” if and when the drought is over and the water table recovers. Putting in a liner would permanently reduce the size of the well bore and, therefore, the size of the pump that could be used. That would reduce maximum output by about 25%. A liner could be put in (and a smaller pump installed) later if it turns out that the water table is not going to recover or that our pumping rights will not be increased.
The work is expected to cost about $42,000, including taking video inside the well, repairing the broken air line, and repairing the pump house damage this activity will cause. It may be that problems will be found after the work starts, and the deeper water may be of lower quality. Mr. Eranio will report to the board at its November meeting.
This project was proposed to the board by Mr. Eranio in a January 24, 2019 staff report, Well #4 Options. Why the board never approved the project is unknown. If it had been implemented that winter or in 2020 or 2021, the Company would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for purchased water. Moreover, the Company would not have failed to use all its groundwater pumping allocations, which will be smaller in future years because we did not fully use them in 2021.
This is the fourth post on this new blog for Crestview shareholders. Be sure to read the first three posts, and please send a link to other shareholders so they can sign up. Share your thoughts in Comments.