The downhole survey of Well #4 showed a new pump at a lower level will have to be a less efficient “submersible pump” (motor at the bottom of the well). There are two options, both with a payout of 6 months or less. Option one: A 250 HP pump capable of 1,000 GPM for $263,000. Option 2: A 150 HP pump capable of 530 GPM for $201,000. (There was an Option 3 to destroy the well, but nobody seemed to take that seriously.)
President Sol Chooljian was absent. All other board members were well prepared and had a lengthy discussion with the general manager and each other about how to proceed.
The general manager cautioned that any new pump would likely be worn out in 5-10 years by rubbing on the casing. Until then, either option would reduce the cost of purchased water enough to repay the investment at least twice every year.
The main advantage of Option 1 is that it can be a full backup to Well #6 by producing 1,000 GPM, but it has a larger risk of producing deeper water of such poor quality that the treatment plant (to remove minerals that cause brown stains) would have to be restarted at a cost of about $475,000. Option 2 has a lower risk of triggering a treatment plant restart and has a $61,000 lower capital cost, but it would not be able by itself to supply the whole Crestview system in as many months each year as Option 1 could.
Most of the discussion focused on the risks of producing low quality water. It is possible, at a cost of about $80,000, to use a test pump to try to learn if some depth zones have worse water quality than others and seal those off. The board decided to have the general manager report at a special meeting to be held in about a week how long such tests would take. That information could help them decide between Option 1 and Option 2.
There was no discussion of whether Well #4 could be back on line soon enough to delay the budgeted May 1 shift to purchased water. The importance of this date is explained here.
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