CLINTON — A well drilling company is winding up repairs to a water well the town plans to use as a backup water supply and avoid state public health sanctions for its water system, a spokesman for the town's certified water system operator said Tuesday.
Jason Head of Thornton, Musso and Bellemin Inc. updated the mayor and Board of Aldermen on the work at a meeting Tuesday night.
He said workers for Layne Christiansen, a drilling company, have obtained the parts needed to put a refurbished pump back into the Taylor Street well. The well had been idled for months and was pumping a heavy volume of sand with its water.
The town's only functioning well at the moment is one on Pine Ridge Drive.
The driller may be able to install the pump next week and begin testing its flow.
Head said the well must run for 24 hours when it is put back in service, but its location will likely cause erosion of a driveway for the nearest home. He estimated that 900,000 gallons of water will run toward the driveway during the test.
Alderman Mark Kemp said an 88-year-old woman lives in the home and has needed an ambulance at her home twice this year. He said the runoff cannot be allowed to damage the driveway.
Head said a small ditch alongside the drive may be needed to get the water away from the access road.
Mayor Lori Bell and Kemp said they will meet with Head this week to look for a solution to the runoff problem.
Head said he plans for the Taylor Street well to be used only if the Pine Ridge well is out of commission or if the fire department is fighting a major blaze that would involve the use of several fire trucks pumping water from the water lines.
Head said the elevated storage tank for the Taylor Street well had five feet of sediment in it because of the sand the well was pumping.
In other business involving the town's utilities, insurance agent Will Andrews said he was unable to find any companies willing to offer liability coverage to the town because of concerns about the amount of natural gas that is lost through leaks.
Andrews said insurance companies won't offer liability coverage if the more than 3 percent of the gas purchased is lost before it reaches customers. Although the town lost only 2 percent in 2018, previous losses have ranged from 13 to 22 percent.
Andrews said insurers want to see three years of low gas losses before they will offer coverage.
The town now gets its liability insurance through the Louisiana Municipal Association, but the aldermen said the coverage is expensive.