New well almost complete for SVWD

After almost seven months since the Scotts Valley Water District’s well located near Orchard Run collapsed, construction is nearly complete on its replacement.

The estimated $1.6 million project will be the first well, of the five in the district, made entirely of stainless steel. According to project director, David McNair, the previous well, which was built in the early 1990s, collapsed because of erosion.

The project started after the SVWD’s Well 7A collapsed end of July 2017. As one of the district’s hard working wells, which produced 450 gallons of water per minute, it was a vital asset to the water district.

“The old one collapsed because of materials used in the 1990s. So this one is made entirely of stainless steel, will still be about 1,400 feet deep, and with everything we have been hearing, this will be a good well,” McNair said.

Well7A produced 30 to 40 percent of the district’s potable water, so after the collapse it became a top priority to rebuild. McNair explained after a well collapses, repairing it is not an option. To meet the district’s demands during the construction of the new well, McNair said the four other wells were utilized.

When Well7A finally comes back on, ratepayers will not notice any difference.

‘We have been able to keep up with the demand using the other wells,” McNair said. “But you have to give the aquifer a chance to rest.”

Crews from Pacific Coast Drilling are starting to test pump now that construction on the well is complete. Next, infrastructure work including piping, electrical service and pump controls is expected to be completed by the end of March. McNair expects the well to be up and running end of April.

“I am very optimistic,” McNair said. “Typically this process takes over 18-20 months. This has moved a lot quicker.”

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