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Price finds traces of water at Emma Park

By KEVIN SCANNELL
Sun Advocate reporter

Price City's exploration for water is reaching deep in Emma Park and the results are showing the city may be seeing a new source of water for the future.

Gary Sonntag, Price City Public Works director, gave the city council an update on the ongoing work at Emma Park where the city has been searching for a new source of water. Sonntag explained to the council that the city chose to abandon one of the well sites because it was deemed as being "not good," he said.

The project at Emma Park, which has been ongoing since the spring, included drilling wells at two different sites with the idea that if one of the wells failed to produce results, there would be another chance of finding water with the other well. That scenario seemed to play out as well site number one was abandoned after the results were looked over by the city. Before making the decision to abandon the well, the city reviewed the flow rate and water quality and also looked at the rock from the cutting of the well. The drilling at well number one reached a depth of 1,937 feet before the work ceased at the site, Sonntag said.

"There is a risk that you may not get what you want from it [a well]," Sonntag said.

With the city turning its attention to well site number two, so far the results are looking better compared to well number one, Sonntag said. As the drilling is ongoing, the city has been looking out for any fault lines and fractures that may pose a problem with the well.

As of last week, the drilling at well site number two reached a depth of 1,110 feet and there have been signs of water so far, Sonntag said. The well will be drilled to a total depth of 2,000 feet in search of water.

The city needs to drill 2,000 feet below the surface because the state water rights say that the city cannot take water from the top 700 feet, as only water acquired from a deeper depth is allowed.

Layne Christensen Company, a Mission Woods, Kan., based company, that specializes in non-oil field contract drilling and manufacturing, was awarded the contract to drill the wells.

The city has already put up about $2.9 million for drilling wells in the area which is being funded from the Community Impact Board with a combination of a grant and loan. The Emma Park project does have a deadline that must be adhered to as the state engineer with the water right has set a November deadline to show beneficial use.

Should the city start to see the well produce water, the next step would be piping it down to the city's water treatment plant. That part of the project could require about 30,000 feet of pipe bringing water through Sulphur Canyon and down to the treatment plant. The piping work, which has been estimated by the city to cost over $3 million, is still in need of funding.




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