The Colusa City Council held a special emergency meeting March 4 to execute a repair of one of the city’s major water wells.
City officials said Public Works staff noticed a wobble in the shaft of the well, located in Memorial Park, after it started pumping about half the water it normally produces.
The Jay Street well carries the most load for the city during the hotter months because it produces 1,200 gallons per minute, said City Manager Jesse Cain.
“We have to have this well up and going in the next few months to meet the summer demand,” Cain said.
Eaton Corporation, the city’s primary hydraulic support company, recently video inspected the well and found small holes in the liner about 276 feet down. The holes are allowing gravel around the casings to be sucked up into bowls that carry water up from its depths and into the distribution system, officials said.
Cain said the well was constructed in 1996 and the metal, which proved not to be of good quality to begin with, is now rotting. The well has had similar problems and repairs in the past, he added.
The City Council approved an agreement with Eaton to repair the well at a cost not to exceed $50,000. The fix should hold the well for another five to 10 years.
City officials said they were comfortable with the no-bid contract because Eaton has been their primary well repair contractor for decades.
“They are reliable and honest,” said Councilman Tom Reische. “We can’t do better than that.”
Eaton will replace the bowls and add swag patches to repair the holes in the casing in order to get the well back at high production before the summer.
“It just needs to happen,” Cain said. “It has to be repaired.”
Meanwhile, the city is awaiting funding to build a new well at the end of 5th Street.
If the city receives the $3 million grant, the city anticipates drilling a “Cadillac” well that is capable of pumping 3,000 gallons of water per minute, which will be needed as the city grows in population and area.