New well building supplements Auburn Water capability

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 03:51 PM.

“They’re going to be sure the water we’re going to get is adequate in both quantity and quality before we do the permanent well,” Sims said.

Auburn’s water network is designed so wells and tanks can supplement each other if one fails due to a storm or mechanical problems. That helps assure customers won’t be without water in the affected area, Sims said.

“All of our wells and tanks are grouped together,” he said. “This one is being put in place to make sure we have adequate capacity in the future, but also if we have a well go down, it will still supply capacity. It’s serving a dual purpose.”

During Hurricane Ivan, although many north Crestview neighborhoods lacked electricity for a week or more, Auburn Water’s system did not fail, due in part to this built-in redundancy, Sims said.

The new well would be more likely to keep working, even during an electricity outage.

“It will have a natural gas generator,” Sims said. “All our other generators are diesel. In an emergency, diesel can be hard to get. In an emergency, we will be assured of a better supply of external power should we need it.”

If the quantity and quality of water found during the test well digging meets the utility’s standards, he expects the permanent well to be online within six months. The well should produce 750 gallons of water a minute, Sims said.

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