Salem wishing well works out as a water source

SALEM — The city may have struck water, with efforts to find another source point for a fourth well at the Cold Run Creek water well field south of Salem apparently successful.

Now the city moves to the next phase of trying to develop the well, with the Salem Utilities Commission seeking a design cost from Layne Water Resources, the company which drilled the exploratory well.

Water Plant Manager Larry Sebrell reported during the recent commission meeting this past week that the well may be good for 500 gallons per minute, which would be considered a good output.

The city currently has three wells in operation at the well field. The whole purpose of the latest drilling attempt was to find an alternative source for when another well may be down or having maintenance done. As part of the quest to develop a new water well, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has to give approval for the site.

Also required will be a pump test on the well. A decision will also have to be made on whether the project will have to be bid or not. Assistant Utilities Superintendent Matt Hoopes said no bid is required for a design/build project.

“We’ve got to go the next step,” Commission Chairman Robert Hodgson said.

A report with a proposed cost will be expected for the next meeting, which is set for 4 p.m. Sept. 14.

In other business, Hodgson said the city has already taken a lot of the steps being required in a new drinking water asset management plan passed by the state Senate.

Hoopes attended a recent meeting which outlined the requirements of the plan and explained there are three major components looking at managerial capability, technical capability and financial capability. The written plan must include an inventory of all assets, operation and maintenance programs, an emergency preparedness and contingency planning program, a criteria and timeline for infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement, approved capacity projections and capital improvement planning and a long term funding strategy.

“Many of these plans are already in place for us,” he said.

The city won’t have to rewrite what’s already in existence, but can just reference the material, according to what he learned at the meeting.

The deadline for having the report in place is Oct. 1, 2018.

Hodgson said the requirement is good in some respects because it’s forcing communities to plan for the future and look ahead, which is something the city is already trying to do.