COLUMBIA CITY — At last week’s City Council meeting, Water Department Superintendent Mike Shoda reported that one of the city’s three wells is no longer usable.
Though Shoda said there is plenty of water in the water towers at this time, it is important to keep a third well running to store water in case the city is in need.
The downed well, Well 8, was located near the Water Treatment Facility on East Van Buren Street. It was discovered there was a hole on a part of the pump, and repairing or putting a new pump back in the well is not an option, according to state regulations. Shoda and city officials indicated that the city’s tap water was not compromised at any time. However, the city’s budget may take a hit.
“I wanted to make sure you’re aware of the issues,” Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel said. “If we do have to drill a new (well), we’re talking big bucks.”
Shoda suggests drilling a new well near Well 9, which is located near the front of Morsches Park, where the former tennis courts were. The new well would have to be 100 feet away from the current one, but placing it nearby can help save costs on running pipes back to the water treatment facility.
Though frustrating, local officials said the area is fortunate to have a dependable water source.
“We are blessed that we have a very plentiful aquifer,” Daniel said. “Lots of communities in other parts of the state are wondering how to meet their water needs — talking about putting in a pipe 25-30 miles away from their communities. We have a good water supply, the bad news is that we have to figure out the next step for this well to ensure we have a good, consistent water supply in the future.”
Shoda indicated that there is about 2 million gallons of water in the towers at this time, but city officials say it is important to have water in reserve and to be prepared for continued population growth.
Also at the City Council meeting:
The council approved several first readings on ordinance changes, which included parking time limits downtown and regulations for door-to-door solicitation.
Park Director Mark Green said there will be new attractions near the Russel & Evelyn Fahl Aquatics Center — pickle ball and basketball courts — which will be located in the same place as the ice skating rink, which is expected to be available this winter. The space will be used as pickle ball and basketball courts in the off-season. He also noted that 17 lifeguards are being certified to work at the aquatics center, and that planning for the new park space (located at the current high school property) is beginning.