“It is nice to have a backup well; it’s really nice,” said Koehne. “This took some time from beginning to end – about 18 months – but we budgeted for it and planned for it, and now it’s here. It’s gives us a nice little cushion.”
The new well, located at the site of the main treatment plant next door to the town offices, is Discovery Bay’s fifth well. Producing 2,600 gallons per minute (the other wells range from 900 gallons to 2,400 gallons per minute), the well will serve primarily as a backup in case of an emergency, or for use when one or two of the other wells are undergoing routine maintenance.
“The new well provides an extra layer of security in the event that we have an emergency or one of our other wells goes down,” said Discovery Bay General Manager Rick Howard. “If we didn’t have this, we would have to use our storage tanks. And if it was during peak times, we could potentially have a problem. But now we have a backup.”
The new well is 400 feet deep. Its submersible pump head reaches down 250 feet (the other well’s pump heads descend to 170 to 200 feet), bringing up a better quality and clarity of water. The well is expected to be up and running within the week once the initial testing phase is complete, and from there will most likely be used as the primary well, at least for awhile.
“I think for the first nine months to a year we’ll use this well as the main well,” said Koehne. “It’s our best producing one and it uses the latest technology, so it makes sense to use it and see how it runs.”
Koehne added that five wells in Discovery Bay are sufficient, at least for the time being. However, as the community continues to grow, adding homes and extra infrastructure, there might one day be a need for additional help.
“It’s enough for now,” he said. “The town is currently working on a water masterplan. Once that is done, we’ll have a better idea of what we may need in the future. But for now, we’re fine.”