What’s next after lowering the pump in Well #4? 

The ongoing project to lower the pump in Well #4 and bring it back into service, hopefully by May 1, is a company-saving decision but may last only 5-10 years.*  The board should develop a strategic vision and then decide if Crestview should initiate a multi-year, multimillion-dollar new well project.

It has been ten years since Crestview studied the need for a new well, and a lot has changed since then.  The expected costs of a new well have gone way up.  The prospective availability of groundwater to pump does not seem as rosy (because of global warming and for other reasons), and the risk that it will require expensive treatment is higher.  Future demand may be lowered by mandatory conservation, residential development of agricultural land, revised rate structures, and/or water markets.  Capital may be either more or less available and affordable.

The new board should get to work on these strategic issues shortly after the upcoming election.

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*Because of earth movement, the casing of Well #4 has drifted out of alignment and may continue to move.  This reduces the space available for lowering the pump again and is likely to wear it out prematurely with rubbing and vibration.  Also, the new pump will be in the screened part of the well casing, making the screens vulnerable to etching, which can allow larger sand and gravel to get into the pump and do severe damage.  Cascading water from the higher perforations can introduce air, causing cavitation in the pump.  In a bit of good news, the old pump and motor removed from Well #4 are in good shape and, with minor repairs, could be used in a new well or as spares for Well #6.

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