Grand Forks looking into sixth water well

The City of Grand Forks looks into the possibility of constructing a sixth well near 66th Avenue.

With concerns of nitrate levels in Grand Forks wells laid to rest, the City of Grand Forks looks into the possibility of constructing a sixth well near 66th Avenue.

The city’s chief administrative officer Doug Allin pointed out there was a referendum last year asking the community whether or not they would support the backup and installation of another well, which was approved.

“We’ve gone through the process of identifying the location for the well,” he said. “Based on the hydrologists and aquifer’s reports we have the right spot, now we have to go through the process of testing to ensure that it will deliver the water we need.”

Part of the process is to deliver the fire flows the city needs, which would be the next step as the city moves forward, Allin added.

The idea of a sixth well came after a presentation by Remi J. P. Allard, senior

hydrogeologist from Piteau Associations Geotechnical and Hydrogeological Consulting

Engineers. He gave a presentation to city council at a recent meeting to discuss the city’s wells and its condition.

Along with nitrate levels and the current situation with the city’s wells, Allard noted the city should start looking into the possibility of a sixth well.

“There is still a lot of work still to be done, so I can’t really provide you any answers right now,” Allard told The Gazette. “Another way to say this is that there are several people involved in the work including staff from the City, Urban Systems and myself.  Until we have some consensus and clear direction moving forward, any comments would only be speculative.”

However, Allin added another well would likely be constructed within the next few years though there is no set timeline at this point.

“Because of Interior Health requirements, to do well-head protection we would want to characterize the risks around the well head (No. 2 located near Hutton Elementary School on 75th Avenue) based on regulatory requirements,” said Allin. “What they would do is protect water quality, but risks include proximity to roads, industrial development, those types of things.”

When Well 6 is constructed south of 66th Avenue, the city will take a look at Well 2 (the city’s oldest well) to determine if it should be maintained as a backup in the future or if Well 6 would satisfy the city’s needs.

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